Newsbud Report with Peter B. Collins- Episode #2

Did we just finish Mainstream Media Malpractice Week? We examine the media’s premature projection of Hillary Clinton as Democratic nominee. We report on the FBI’s expanding use of paid informants in “domestic terrorism” cases, like the recent convictions in Minneapolis; and the FBI’s push for expanded powers to monitor internet activity. We examine NY Gov. Cuomo’s order to punish supporters of boycotts of Israel, and journalist Max Blumenthal comments in our interview. In our Newsbud Exclusive, Prof. Filip Kovacevic reports on Russia’s plan to counter NATO expansion with its Alliance of Neutral States. We also cover Brazil’s deepening crisis, and the US role in the 2009 coup in Honduras.

*We need your support to make Newsbud a reality. Please pledge today for a 100% People-Funded Media with Integrity.

The EyeOpener- Stratfor and the Privatization of Intelligence

BFP VideoLate last year, hackers with the anonymous hacking group LulzSec raided the servers of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., or Stratfor, a private intelligence company in Austin, Texas, coming away with some 5 million emails. Last month, Wikileaks began publishing the emails as “The Global Intelligence Files” to much fanfare. All of the claims that continue to emerge on a daily basis from this email archive are just that: claims. Regardless of the truth of this or that particular claim, perhaps the most significant thing to emerge from the emails is the fact that companies like Stratfor exist at all. That private companies are in possession of vast intelligence networks and vast sums of data on private individuals is a trend that few are comfortable with, but few are aware of until situations like the Stratfor leak bring it to the public's attention.

This is our EyeOpener Report by James Corbett, presenting the disturbing trend of outsourcing intelligence work to private companies, the unhealthy relationship between intelligence agencies and the private sector, the culpability for misconduct and shielding the government from being held accountable for crimes committed on its behalf, and the creation of a revolving door that allows the private companies enormous leeway in bending and breaking laws by offering incentives to the agencies that are supposedly keeping an eye on them.

Watch the Preview Here:

Watch the Full Video Report Here:

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Naked Airlines

The Ultimate Answer by "Loose Bruce" Kerr

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Podcast Show #36

The Boiling Frogs Presents James Babb

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James Babb recounts the creation of the grassroots effort We Won’t Fly, and how he and cofounder George Donnelly, two regular dads, founded the group to oppose the full-body airport “porno”-scanners on grounds of privacy, ineffectiveness and health, and demand that the airlines make their maximum lobbying effort in support of customers’ rights and liberties. He discusses the ineffective and dangerous aspects of the TSA Security Theater as a top-down and lumbering bureaucracy, and the intimidation and humiliation of passengers for this false sense of security. Mr. Babb talks about the goal of his group, alternatives to flying, their next Opt Out project, and more!

wewontJames Babb is the co-founder of We Won’t Fly, an informal collaborative effort opposing the full-body airport “porno”-scanners on grounds of privacy, ineffectiveness and health. As an independent, grassroots effort, We Won’t Fly is not affiliated with any political party, corporation, politician or think tank. The group has pledged to stop flying ‘until the porno-scanners are history.’

Here is our guest James Babb unplugged!

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A Parody for You: ‘Grandma Got Molested at the Airport’

By Donny Aldridge- Singer, Songwriter & Political Satirist

A friend sent me the following music clip; too real yet too funny. Enjoy it, let it be another reminder of how low we’ve stooped as a society, and keep up the spirit of resistance.
 

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Ron Paul Introduces the American Travel Dignity Act

‘We Americans Should Never Give Up Our Rights in Order to Travel’

RPaul Mr. Speaker, today I introduce legislation to protect Americans from physical and emotional abuse by federal Transportation Security Administration employees conducting screenings at the nation’s airports. We have seen the videos of terrified children being grabbed and probed by airport screeners. We have read the stories of Americans being subjected to humiliating body imaging machines and/or forced to have the most intimate parts of their bodies poked and fondled. We do not know the potentially harmful effects of the radiation emitted by the new millimeter wave machines.

In one recent well-publicized case, a TSA official is recorded during an attempted body search saying, "By buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights." I strongly disagree and am sure I am not alone in believing that we Americans should never give up our rights in order to travel. As our Declaration of Independence states, our rights are inalienable. This TSA version of our rights looks more like the "rights" granted in the old Soviet Constitutions, where freedoms were granted to Soviet citizens — right up to the moment the state decided to remove those freedoms.

The incident of the so-called "underwear bomber" last Christmas is given as justification for the billions of dollars the federal government is spending on the new full-body imaging machines, but a Government Accountability Office study earlier this year concluded that had these scanners been in use they may not have detected the explosive material that was allegedly brought onto the airplane. Additionally, there have been recent press reports calling into question the accuracy and adequacy of these potentially dangerous machines. [Read more...]

The Makings of a Police State-Part VI

A Nation of Suspects

Indeed, the interests of the oppressors lie in 'changing the consciousness of the oppressed, not the situation which oppresses them'- - Paulo Freire

The illegal domestic wiretapping of all Americans, the invasive search practices at every airport directed at every single US passenger, the compilation of all data on all citizens in not only one but multiple government databases, the unreasonable and warrantless search and seizure practiced on US masses facilitated arbitrarily by the FBI, are among many known and unknown government practices directed at the entire population of the United States of America.

SheepDespite the current futility, many constitutionalists, legalists, analysts, and activists are writing, talking, and arguing about the legality or illegality, constitutionality or unconstitutionality, practicality or impracticality, of these surveillance and search practices of our ‘National Security State.’ There is a plethora of material out there for you to read or listen to on those points, so there is no need for me to cover all that has been covered already; over and over. I am not going to discuss the tedious and ambiguous laws, nor am I going to waste time on the vague and irrelevant notion of and argument on security. No. I intend to focus on the subjects of these practices; the people; the masses, in fact, the entire population as the willing recipients who have come to view and accept themselves as suspects. Isn’t this what we have become; a nation of suspects?

No one any longer questions the fact that our government has been engaged in domestic surveillance of our communication systems. The news came out. The practitioners admitted to it, in fact, proudly. These activities were challenged in courts and the challenges overridden, thus making the legality or illegality, constitutionality or unconstitutionality, all irrelevant; moot.  Several years have passed and it has become, it is, a fact of life; a fact in every American’s life. And for the majority, not a painful or aggravating fact of life; just ‘a fact’ of life. Why?

Many say ‘look, there are these bad guys out there called terrorists. The government is out there looking for them; everywhere. I ain’t doing nothin wrong, and I ain’t got nothin to hide. So why should I be concerned? My government is doing it to keep me, to keep us all, safe; to protect us against those bad terrorist people lurking here and there…’

If you were to ask most ‘but why do they tap your phone line and capture your data or conversation? You the good citizen?‘ The common answer would be along these lines, ‘I don’t know. They must know something. I don’t understand how intelligence and police stuff like this works. They must know something, if they think tapping my phone and listening to my conversation helps to fight terrorists and keep us safe…I just do my own thing and since I don’t have anything to hide it doesn’t bother me. They’ve got to do what they’ve got to do to protect us…’

Most of you know that the above dialogue is more or less what we get everywhere with almost everyone. I have had that exact same conversation with tens if not hundreds of people, and I can assure you that the above rendition is in no way exaggerated or downplayed. It is the general attitude. It is the common thought and response process. It is a fact of today’s life expressed by today’s people in our country. And to recognize these common beliefs, to draw the most logical conclusion, takes neither a genius nor a philosopher nor a psychologist…But let’s move to the next related fact, and see that same logical conclusion.

Starting immediately after the September 11 terrorist attacks, we began to see, and of course become subject to, jacked up security check points and searches in our airports. First, they already had us all going through big complex metal detectors. Then, they had us do the same thing but remove our belts and other metal containing garments and belongings. Then, they had us bend over like servants before kings, remove our shoes, and humbly walk barefoot through the big complex metal detectors. After that, they prohibited us from carrying our drinking water or any other liquid, and they made our lactating women open up their stored breast milk and sip it before the eyes of the traveling masses passing by…

Meanwhile we learned of their massive databases on fliers, where over one million people were divided into no fly lists, almost no fly lists, and maybe no fly lists, with further division into high-risk fliers, medium-risk fliers, and low-risk fliers…But, despite all these massive, complex and secret multiple lists and databases, we all had to go through those same detectors, with no shoes, no liquids, supposed random but all too frequent pat downs…So we never understood the rationale for having all those lists and databases anyway. No worries. We, most of us, said, ‘we may not understand, it may not make the slightest sense, it can defy all logic…but that doesn’t matter. The government must know things we don’t, and they are protecting us against the big bad terrorists…’ So we went on, kept putting up.

Recently, they said all those practices were not nearly enough, so they’ve been erecting body-scanner temples at security checkpoints, and asking us to step in them to be viewed naked-breasts, penises, arses and all. To be technically correct, they are not forcing us to go through the scanners; in fact, they are giving us options:

-You either step in the scanners and let us view you, all your private parts naked, or,

-You go through grabbing, groping, patting, and worse one-on-one searches.

They have been proudly justifying these invasive procedures by presenting them as reasonable options for people to choose from. Think of a rapist saying the following in court:

But I gave her a choice, and I made it clear. I said you either submit willfully and quietly while I rape you, or, you can fight and I’ll beat the hell out of you while I’m raping you….

We’ve been complying with all that. We get to the checkpoints, and as one woman told me:

I just go into this auto pilot mode. I remove my shoes and other items. I move forward towards the screening machine while looking into empty space and avoiding any eye contact. I step in there, slightly spread my arms and legs, pause, and step out on the other side. I then let out a deep breath for making it, without sounding off any alarm bells, and without having to be touched, groped and patted everywhere…Then I walk away quickly and try to wipe away all the memories of those long minutes…It’s the best way to deal with these things…

Again, this sounds very familiar. Just read through documented victim accounts on dealing with highly traumatic experiences. I used to read about and listen to such victims. A woman telling the story of being molested and raped by her father:

I used to pretend not being there…you know, almost like an out of body experience. He’d quietly come to my room, his breath reeking with alcohol…I’d close my eyes when he pulled down my panties…I’d spread my legs, close my eyes, and imagine not being there…imagine it was not happening…It was quicker that way. He’d be done and gone. And I would go on trying to forget, pretending I forgot…trying to erase all the memories and the feeling of being violated…

Doesn’t it feel that way? Don’t we feel violated? Don’t we feel powerless? Doesn’t it feel like total submission to a force greater than any one of us, and obviously the total of all of us? [Read more...]

Updates & Weekly Round Up for January 17

Boiling Frogs Video Project & Noteworthy Headlines

Soon-to- be- Launched Boiling Frogs Exclusive Video

BF0117I’m going to start with an exciting update on our Boiling Frogs Exclusive Video Project. Again, I’m not known for being very patient, and in this case I’m not able to contain my excitement.

Kristina Borjesson and Katrina Rill have been working very hard on the production side, and have been doing it under extraordinary circumstances. Kristina’s brother lives in Haiti and for almost 4 days they were unable to establish contact with him, know about his well-being or whereabouts. They heard from him yesterday, after days of frantic phone calls, e-mails, and stressful waiting-pacing. I am so very happy and relieved. Additionally, during that chaotic period they had to resolve several software-hardware related problems and glitches. Fortunately, they have now arrived at the ‘happy-satisfied-exciting’ stage where they are putting their final touches on our first four-part video series.

The upcoming video series will be based on exclusive interviews with Larry Wilkerson, with great footage. I don’t believe anyone has ever heard or seen some of the extraordinary revelations and commentaries contained in these clips; at least I hadn’t. Here is a glimpse of what I’m talking about from the transcript:

Larry Wilkerson on Israel:

I have not mentioned one other motivation in here which was, I think very much at work. And that’s Israel… Douglas Feith, for example as many people often said in the state department, including the highest members of the state department, was a card carrying member of the Likud Party… what it meant of course was that he had a double set of interests in mind at most times and those interests were not just America’s interests, they were Israel’s interests…

We have a situation today in both Israel and the United States created in part because of incompetent leadership but in part because of very venal leadership in exploiting the politics of fear, that can’t bring us peace—either of us—and is making lots and lots of money as Andrew Basevitch said, off not bringing us peace. Lots of money.

there are a group of people in this country who have an interest in Israel’s security that goes beyond America’s interests…. When the Cold War ended, Israel in that regard became a strategic liability, not an asset…

LW on our Disappearing Civil Liberties:

…So we’re moving away rapidly from all those things—the constitution, the rule of law, operating within our own revenues instead of debt, debt, debt and so forth, all because the presidency has become so powerful that it can do these things and it has become powerful in some respects because of the politics of fear…

LW on the Role of Military Industrial Complex:

In our country, money is negating democracy. It is doing it in a host of ways. It is doing it in a way Dwight Eisenhower warned it would do in 1961 when departed the Oval Office…

…there’s nothing out there that will tell you how to deal with this. This is not the president of Lockheed Martin, the president of uh, of uh General Dynamics or Graumann or whatever plotting at night to take over Washington or to take your money away from you. This is much more insidious than that. It is power, and building over time as we decided after world war two to build a national security state and to make security the end all and be all of our existence. Just listen to the democratic candidates the other night in the debate. Every one of them I believe as I recall even the guys on the fringes they essentially said the first requirement of any president is to protect the United States of America. Hogwash. The first requirement of any president is to protect the Constitution. The Constitution will, if it’s adhered to, protect America.

…….

Okay, you see what I mean? How could I not be ultra excited?! The interview is loaded with macro points and facts long ignored by the media and others, and issues and realities that have been chosen by our public to be denied rather than being faced and dealt with.

Buckle up and get ready for our soon to be launched video series. For some of you who have not registered with the site, this is a good time and even a better reason to go ahead and do it. The full-length clips will be available only to Boiling Frogs Registered Users, those I refer to as members of the Irate Minority Club.

………

Boiling Frogs Podcast

ChrisHedgesWe had a great interview session with Chris Hedges. After reading his sound analytical pieces, hearing him articulate issues relevant to our discussion, and knowing a bit about his sincere and non-partisan outlook, I decided to add his ‘corner’ to my ‘must-read’ daily list. I say corner, because I don’t particularly like some of the angles and partisan approaches of the general site, and I believe that’s mutual, since those operating it happen to not like mine either 😉 On the other hand, I try to give credit where it’s due, and in this case, having Chris Hedges on board is a major positive.

This week we’ll interview Professor Julien Mercille and Coleen Rowley. I know I’ve said this a gazillion times, but I truly enjoy these sessions, and end up learning so much. I’m looking forward to having both guests this coming week.

Coming up on Friday: Our interview with Andy Worthington.

………….

And here is a round up of a few headlines and news of interest:

US Public Majority: Willing to Sacrifice Liberties for Perceived Security

The following makes us truly members of the irate minority club:
 

           Most OK with TSA full-body scanners
           By Thomas Frank, USA Today

Air travelers strongly approve of the government's use of body scanners at the nation's airports even if the machines compromise privacy, a USA TODAY/Gallup poll finds.

Poll respondents appeared to endorse a Transportation Security Administration plan to install 300 scanners at the nation's largest airports this year to replace metal detectors. The machines, used in 19 airports, create vivid images of travelers under their clothes to reveal plastics and powders to screeners observing monitors in a closed room.

In the poll, 78% of respondents said they approved of using the scanners, and 67% said they are comfortable being examined by one. Eighty-four percent said the machines would help stop terrorists from carrying explosives onto airplanes. The survey was taken Jan. 5-6 of 542 adults who have flown at least twice in the past year.

And, this one:

            Poll: Most Americans would trim liberties to be safer
            By Steven Thomma, McClatchy

After a recent attempted terrorist attack set off a debate about full-body X-rays at airports, a new McClatchy-Ipsos poll finds that Americans lean more toward giving up some of their liberty in exchange for more safety. The survey found 51 percent of Americans agreeing that "it is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.” At the same time, 36 percent agreed that "some of the government's proposals will go too far in restricting the public's civil liberties."

BodyScannersHere are my questions for the ‘majority’ who support giving up privacy and liberties for perceived security:

Let’s say the next attack, or attempted terrorist attack, takes place in a shopping mall on a busy Saturday. What should be our government’s measures and so-called solutions afterwards? Should they place metal detectors at all main entrances of all US shopping malls? And since they happen to be ‘ineffective,’ should they go all the way and have these body-scanners instead? But then, some terrorist or terrorist wanna-be or just mentally deranged person may try to pull the explosive truck in the parking lot trick. Then what? Should we also place search guards and detectors at all entrances of all US shopping malls?

Please feel free to replicate the example, scenario above, for all the mega movie theaters, mega hotels, mega amusement parks, mega restaurants, museums… Each one of them a possible target. Each one of them vulnerable. Each possible attack with a possible large civilian death toll. So I’m asking those supporters of giving up privacy and liberties for some irrational and perceived security: What would you want to be done to make you feel secure, safer? Will you be willing to stand in long lines and check points, spread your legs and arms before government patters, maybe even bend over for a good ole cavity search and enema, for shopping, dining, entertainment…? And don’t pull that ‘oh, that’s different’ line with me. Because it isn’t. Because there are millions of ways for those who are willing to execute terror plots, and there are thousands of places to be targeted. Even if we were to turn the entire country into a massive check point with scanners and patters, even if we were to turn our entire population into security guards and police… So, what you gonna do? Maybe ignorantly do the following: [Read more...]