Friday, August 30
16 Agencies make up the U.S.Intelligence Network whose total "black budget" is $52.6 Billion.
◾Air Force Intelligence
◾Central Intelligence Agency
◾Coast Guard Intelligence
◾Defense Intelligence Agency
◾Department of Energy
◾Department of Homeland Security
◾Department of State
◾Department of the Treasury
◾Drug Enforcement Administration
◾Federal Bureau of Investigation
◾Marine Corps Intelligence
◾National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
◾National Reconnaissance Office
◾National Security Agency
Wednesday, August 28
Officials in Washington Tuesday announced plans to seek the 2024 Summer Olympics, a bid to finally bring the world games to one of the few major capital cities to never hold the event.
The city, which failed to win the 2012 Olympics, is expected to compete with up to 10 other U.S. cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, and Dallas.
Paris is the international front-runner because the events would be held on the 100th anniversary of their last games.
The U.S. Olympic Committee will pick a host city in September 2015 and the International Olympic Committee will pick the winner in September 2017
Tuesday, August 27
Pope Francis recently called Muslims "our brothers" as he sent greetings to them after the recent end of their fasting month of Ramadan.
I suggest some summer reading for the Pope. It's called the Bible.
Galatians Chapter 1: 8,9
v8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
v9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin, plans to ask the state of Florida to cover $200,000 to $300,000 of his legal expenses, his attorney told the Orlando Sentinel Monday evening.
Because Zimmerman was acquitted, state law requires Florida to pay all his legal costs, minus the biggest one: the fee that goes to his lawyers.
That includes the cost of expert witnesses, travel, depositions, photocopies, even that animated 3-D video that defense attorneys showed jurors during closing argument that depicts Trayvon punching Zimmerman.
Dear Honorable Speaker Boehner :
I have never written you before, but this issue is too important to remain silent. President Obama has promised to "fundamentally transform" America and his promise will become reality if the Affordable Care Act aka "Obamacare" is fully funded. The act is flawed and unconstitutional despite what the Supreme Court has ruled. One sixth of our economy will be impacted and we are seeing unintended consequences of the legislation such as increased health care premiums, doctors leaving private practices, and employers cutting full time hours for American workers. I implore you to use the House of Representatives "power of the purse" to defund Obamacare by refusing to fund it. Saying you want to repeal the legislation and not actually stopping it when you have the opportunity to do so is the epitome of hypocrisy. The majority of the American people are opposed to this legislation and will be watching the House's action. Failure to represent the will of the American people would be a dereliction of your duty.
Friday, August 16
Thursday, August 8
Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, otherwise known as “Obamacare”.
Our health care system is broken – we can all recognize that. Doctors are having a hard time keeping their doors open, millions of people go without insurance, and costs continue to rise. We need deep, systemic changes that will increase access to health care and make it more affordable, without compromising quality and the doctor-patient relationship.
Unfortunately, we know that health care package pushed through the 111th Congress failed to accomplish such commonsense goals. Under the new law, average family insurance premiums are expected to increase by $2,100; over $569 billion in new taxes will be levied in the next ten years; and over $700 billion will be added to our national deficit.
For these reasons and many more, the House of Representatives has voted over 30 times to repeal or defund parts or all of the healthcare law; and in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June, we must redouble these efforts. We know this law will have a coercive affect on our economy and is toxic for small businesses and I remain committed to replacing the law with health care policies that make sense.
Thank you again for your feedback and counsel; it is a privilege to serve you and the people of the 14th Congressional District. If you have additional questions, or if I can ever be helpful to you or your family, don’t hesitate to call me or my staff at 202-225-2976, or 630-232-7104.
Thank you for contacting me about the National Security Agency (NSA). I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this agency and its practices.
Throughout the summer of 2013, in a lengthy series of investigative reports, London-based newspaper The Guardian published an extensive account of the domestic data-gathering and surveillance efforts under way at the NSA. This documentation, including a secret court order issued in April, indicates that the NSA has been operating on a much larger scale than has previously been made public, indiscriminately sweeping up the electronic communications data of millions of American citizens in a vast digital dragnet, every day, without a warrant and without probable cause.
This is an astounding assault on the Constitution and an extraordinary invasion of privacy. A court order that allows the government to obtain a billion records a day but does not name an individual target is clearly beyond the scope of the Fourth Amendment, which states that warrants are to be issued only upon probable cause and must specify the person and place to be searched. Moreover, it is not at all clear whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that issued the order did so lawfully, as much of the communications data being collected is entirely domestic in nature.
The Administration has responded to the public uproar by simply claiming that it is allowed to have unlimited access to all Americans' private information. This response is a clear indication that the President views our Constitutional "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" as null and void. Worse, under direct questioning from my colleague Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on March 12, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper flatly denied that the NSA was collecting "any type of data at all on millions of Americans" – a claim that we now know to be demonstrably false.
I certainly understand your frustrations, and like you I am profoundly disappointed in this Administration's record on civil liberties. The Constitution is not a negotiable piece of parchment to be ignored or abused at a President's whim. People are deeply suspicious of a government that can take away their rights and they are even more suspicious when these acts are done in secret.
This blatant overreach of power is also just the latest symptom of a much more fundamental problem that we face as a nation - an arrogant federal government that has simply grown too large, too invasive, too distant from people, and utterly adrift from its Constitutional moorings. When balancing liberty against security, the American tradition has always been to err on the side of liberty. I support allowing our national security agencies to conduct surveillance if they respect due process rights and establish probable cause, such as the suspicion of international terrorist activities. However, invading the privacy of every individual who uses a cell phone or the Internet is unnecessary and illegal. Our government shouldn't have unlimited reign to spy on its citizens.
I have long been a vocal defender of our Fourth Amendment rights, and have led the fight against the reauthorization of the warrantless wiretapping and search provisions contained in the USA PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Indeed, even prior to these recent revelations, I had proposed legislation in each of the last two sessions of Congress to try and rein in the ability of the federal government to monitor its citizens. Most recently, on June 7, 2013, I reintroduced S. 1121, the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013, a bill which would have prevented the data-mining we're now seeing.
I am actively exploring all of the options available to me with regard to spearheading a broad-based effort to remedy some of the excesses that have recently come to light. Rest assured that I will continue to demand answers and accountability, and I will continue to fight for a more principled, limited government that respects the Constitution and the rights of each and every citizen of this great country.
Wednesday, August 7
Tuesday, August 6
Brahmanism: This is the sum of duty: Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.: Mahabharata 5:1517
Christianity: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.: Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:12
Islam: No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what which he desires for himself. Sunnah
Buddhism: Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.: Udana Varga 5:18
Judaism: What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.: Talmud, Shabbat 31:a
Confucianism: Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto others that you would not have them do unto you.: Analects 15:23
Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own loss.: T'ai Shag Kan Ying P'ien
Zoroastrianism: That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good: for itself. : Dadistan-i-dinik 94:5
Monday, August 5
1 : illegal or prohibited traffic in goods : smuggling
2 : goods or merchandise whose importation, exportation, or possession is forbidden; also : smuggled goods
3 : a slave who during the American Civil War escaped to or was brought within the Union lines
"Contraband" first appeared in English in the early 1500s as a borrowing of Italian "contrabbando." This Italian word can be traced to the Medieval Latin word "contrabannum," a combination of "contra-" ("against") and "bannum" ("decree"). "Bannum" is Germanic in origin and is related to Old High German "bannan" ("to command"). "Bannan" is also related to Middle English "bannen" ("to summon or to curse"), the source of the English verb "ban" (which now means "to prohibit" but which once also meant "to curse").