Arctic sea ice is up…I mean down…I mean it hasn’t changed a bit…awww, who the hell cares?

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Arctic sea ice extent hits record low for winter

Arctic Surge Continues

No Change In Arctic Sea Ice Thickness For 75 Years

Those headlines are all from this month. Can we all use the same tape measure please? But hey, since global warming causes everything, hot or cold, wet or dry, it just stands to reason that nobody should even give a damn what level the Arctic sea ice is anyway. Just sayin…

It’s the middle of Sunshine Week – why is it raining?

CYANIDE SENT TO WHITE HOUSE

An envelope sent to the White House Mail Screening Facility on Monday tested positive for cyanide, according to an internal law enforcement document obtained by The Intercept.

Actually, it was a “presumptive positive” as FOX News points out.

The initial test on the envelope was negative, a second test Tuesday was “presumptive positive” and it has now been sent to another facility to confirm those results, according to spokesperson Robert Hoback.

Consider me as dubious. Washington is famous for its timing when it comes to the news. The Secret Service has been battered by scandal stories as of late and could desperately use a little good PR. The cyanide story may well be true, but I think the timing of it is rather convenient, wouldn’t you say?

Especially since were in the middle of Sunshine Week and transparency is the furthest thing from politician’s minds. In fact, it is being outright mocked by the Obama Administration since it has now officially shielded the Office of Administration from FOIA requests.

The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office.

“The irony of this being Sunshine Week is not lost on me,” said Anne Weismann of the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.

You won’t hear the GOP raise a ruckus as this was started under Bush.

Obama always considers himself a champion for the oppressed. Shouldn’t we be inclusive of all including the opponents of Sunshine Week? Perhaps we should have Cloaking Week? Equal time and all that. Or National Scandal Week. Or Eradicate the Constitution Week?

Isn’t the ability to cover-up also a skill set? Or the ability to lie with a straight face? Those are talents as not everyone is capable. Tolerance, inclusiveness and all the other sub-headings under social justice should dictate we celebrate all. Am I too cynical? Too much of a skeptic? Try to be more positive instead?

Dear Leader could really step up here and take the lead on this and help set me straight. How about unsealing your education records as a good gesture Mr. President? Sure, you’ve spent a lot of money over the years in hiding these things but isn’t it legacy building time for you? Think of the good will that would come gushing forth if you took ownership of who you really are and what you believe in? So you’re a Muslim or a Hindu. So you’re still an Indonesian citizen. We can celebrate all those things.

I suspect my cynical leanings are much closer to the mark. We’re about to witness the final two years of the Obama regime as with as little transparency as one can imagine. Even the FOIA requests that are complied with are so full of redactions that there may be a run on black ink. Do you think if we did a FOIA request for his golf handicap, we would get the truth?

Forecast for Sunshine Week? Mostly cloudy

Today is Monday, March 16th, 2015. It’s the official kickoff of Sunshine Week.

Join us in the annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community. Find all the free resources you need to get started right here.

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know.

In honor of the Sunshine Week celebration, Hillary Clinton has this to say to America about being transparent and coming clean on emailgate.

Is Ferguson the most dangerous city in America?

Turns out that racism may not be the most pressing issue in Ferguson, Missouri. The place is simply loaded with criminals according to the DOJ report.

In the city of Ferguson, nearly everyone is a wanted criminal.

That may seem like hyperbole, but it is a literal fact. In Ferguson — a city with a population of 21,000 — 16,000 people have outstanding arrest warrants, meaning that they are currently actively wanted by the police. In other words, if you were to take four people at random, the Ferguson police would consider three of them fugitives.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-robinson/the-shocking-finding-from-the-doj-ferguson_b_6858388.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592&ir=India

The questions raised by Attorney General Eric Holder are why the proportion of black/white crime is tilted. Yet he never mentioned the proportion of crimes/citizens.

It turns out that nearly everyone in the city is wanted for something. Even internal police department communications found the number of arrest warrants to be “staggering”. By December of 2014, “over 16,000 people had outstanding arrest warrants that had been issued by the court.” The report makes clear that this refers to individual people, rather than cases (i.e. people with many cases are not being counted multiple times). However, if we do look at the number of cases, the portrait is even starker. In 2013, 32,975 offenses had associated warrants, so that there were 1.5 offenses for every city resident.

That means that the city of Ferguson quite literally has more crimes than people.

To give some context as to how truly extreme this is, a comparison may be useful. In 2014, the Boston Municipal Court System, for a city of 645,000 people, issued about 2,300 criminal warrants. The Ferguson Municipal Court issued 9,000, for a population 1/30th the size of Boston’s.

Are all of those arrests warranted? Is it just a revenue stream? Is this just a training ground for our police state?

And this is precisely what occurs in Ferguson. As others have noted, the Ferguson courts appear to work as an orchestrated racket to extract money from the poor. The thousands upon thousands of warrants that are issued, according to the DOJ, are “not to protect public safety but rather to facilitate fine collection.” Residents are routinely charged with minor administrative infractions. Most of the arrest warrants stem from traffic violations, but nearly every conceivable human behavior is criminalized. An offense can be found anywhere, including citations for “Manner of Walking in Roadway,” “High Grass and Weeds,” and 14 kinds of parking violation. The dystopian absurdity reaches its apotheosis in the deliciously Orwellian transgression “failure to obey.” (Obey what? Simply to obey.) In fact, even if one does obey to the letter, solutions can be found. After Henry Davis was brutally beaten by four Ferguson officers, he found himself charged with “destruction of official property” for bleeding on their uniforms.

The racism industry won’t like the idea of ceding the debate to be hijacked by the issue of police/court corruption. That’s not where their money is. I sincerely doubt the good people of Ferguson, Missouri are more rabid criminals than any other comparable urban area in America. Citation statistics won’t tell that story. Nor will the conviction rate. Statistics don’t exist to measure the validity of criminal activity. Now there’s a corruption racket with far more dollars in play than racism. The question is will anyone take on, expose and be able to bring down the criminal justice complex?

What happened in this small country could never happen in the U.S.

Bubble watch is in high gear once again in the good ole USofA. When and why they pop and how bad the fallout will be is a tale yet to be written. But what just happened in another country is what should have happened here to prevent the next bubble/burst cycle from even happening. The perpetrators are being sent to prison.

Iceland’s supreme court has upheld convictions of market manipulation for four former executives of the failed Kaupthing bank in a landmark case that the country’s special prosecutor said showed it was possible to crack down on fraudulent bankers.

Read more: http://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/iceland-convicts-bad-bankers-and-says-other-nations-can-act-1.2102727

This is not to compare Iceland and the United States, as you can’t. However, what they accomplished the United States made no effort whatsoever to do as the bankers are a protected species.

“This case…sends a strong message that will wake up discussion,” special prosecutor Olafur Hauksson said. “It shows that these financial cases may be hard, but they can also produce results.” Not all of Iceland’s prosecutions have succeeded. But the country’s efforts contrast with the United Statesand particularly Europe, where though some banks have been fined, few executives have been tried and voters suffering post-crisis austerity conditions feel bankers got off lightly.

No, I haven’t gone off my rocker and bought into the notion of what the special prosecutor suggested. This won’t open any discussion whatsoever of bringing the banksters to justice here in the United States. It’s just nice to dream a little.

The TPP is BAD for the USA

So Congress needs to give Obama TPA to get TPP passed. China saw the PAFTAD lead to the PECC which created the APEC which believes the RCEP, rather than the TPP, is the best pathway to get to the FTAAP. RCEP came about as a compromise between EAFTA and CEPEA. The FTAAP came about from the ABAC, with support from the ASEAN+3 and the ASEAN+6. These are all geared toward expanding FTA’s into a regional FTAAP. Then there is the TAFTA to consider as both it and the FTAAP will fall under the umbrella of the WTO. Got it? Excellent, lets move along.

If anything you just read makes any sense to you at all, you are leading a sheltered, geeky life and you should get out more often and see the real world. For the rest of us, our heads have just exploded. I am guilty of researching the topic to be aware of what Obama is attempting to slip through Congress and past the American people in his last two years in office as a payoff to his corporate supporters.

This acronym hell I just exposed you to is all about trade agreements between nations. They are sold as attempts to break down trade barriers between nations with widely varying economies, laws and governments. The idea is to increase trade and improve economies as a whole. It’s what’s behind the scenes that we need to be aware of.

If you’re interested in what all the acronyms mean and for a good background as to how we got where we are then go here – http://www.pecc.org/state-of-the-region-report-2014/265-state-of-the-region/2014-2015/595-chapter-2-can-rcep-and-the-tpp-be-path-ways-to-ftaap

I’ll attempt to simplify it. The U.S. (meaning Obama and corporate America) support the TPP. China supports the RECP. Both are just pathways that should eventually lead to an agreement across the entire Asia-Pacific region regulating trade. That will be the FTAAP.

Obama is seeking what is called a fast track agreement to get the TPP through Congress so it can be done without the usual haggling and slowdowns. The TPP has created a most unusual circumstance in that groups from the progressive left are teaming with conservatives and Tea Party right groups to oppose Obama. This is because the TPP gives exceptional power to corporations so much so that they can have an arbiter override government and existing law. It is that potential power that has unions and environmental groups teaming up with the right to oppose Obama. Obama isn’t running for re-election so he has no fear of retaliation and can safely payoff his corporate support from years gone by.

The TPP leaves China out. The RCEP leaves the U.S. out. Which ever gets passed first has the upper hand in influencing the final draft of the eventual overall trade agreement, the FTAAP. It is simply a power play between China and the United States. The Atlantic ocean isn’t left out either with its TAFTA, although it’s further behind an Asia-Pacific region trade agreement. Above it all you have the World Trade Organization (WTO).

What’s left out in these power play struggles between government and big business is the consumer and the worker. That’s why we see the strange uniting of normal left/right foes. Above that, these deals weaken America. America has free trade agreements in place with its trading partners and doesn’t need an umbrella type agreement favoring a region over America. Obama supports the TPP because it is aligns with his agenda to weaken America as a superpower and simply incorporate it as just another trading nation. Timing has much to do with everything in politics and Obama couldn’t push for the TPP earlier in his term as he needed re-election. Now time has become short and the window is closing fast to get this done thus the push for fast tracking the bill.

Strengthening corporate America, as the TPP clearly does, doesn’t equate to strengthening America as a whole.

Proof that Clintons’ email server was not encrypted initially

IT security firm Venafi has confirmed that for the first 3 months Hillary Clinton’s private email server was not encrypted. Even though digital certificates were added after 3 months, anyone who had gained access to her server during that period would still have a way in afterward.

Digital certificate analysis for clintonemail.com

In the past week, there have been questions about the level of security, use, and configuration of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email server. Specifically, there have been concerns that the server may have been vulnerable to eavesdropping and compromise. TrustNet found that at least 3 digital certificates were used with clintonemail.com since 2009. Operators of clintonemail.com obtained these certificates so the site could be uniquely distinguished (another clintonemail.com would not show as being secured without the certificate) and the site would use strong encryption to keep data transmissions private. These certificates were obtained validly and enabled web-based encryption for applications. Based on TrustNet analyst, Venafi can conclude clintonemail.com was enabled for browser, smartphone, and tablet encryption since 2009 and can operate using encryption through at least 2018. However, for the first 3 months of Secretary Clinton’s term, access to the server was not encrypted or authenticated with a digital certificate. During this time, Secretary Clinton travelled to China, Egypt, Israel, South Korea and other locations outside of the U.S.

Note: All data in this report was obtained by non-intrusive Internet scanning routinely performed throughout the IT security community to protect the safety and health of the Internet.

Clinton must stick with her claim that no classified material was ever exchanged on her server as it was clearly vulnerable and may have easily been comprised.

Clinton email numbers nowhere near the norm for the average user

31,830

That’s the number of ‘private’ emails Hillary Clinton claims she “chose not to keep”. We know that Bill doesn’t email (wink, wink, but that’s what we’ll go with for the sake of argument). Hillary tells us these were private emails concerning planning Chelsea’s wedding and the like. So lets do just a bit of math.

Four years as Secretary of State. Approximately 1450 days in office. That’s about 21.9 private emails per day. A study was done by the Radicati Group studying email usage – http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Email-Statistics-Report-2014-2018-Executive-Summary.pdf

Business users send and receive on average 121 emails a day in 2014, and this is expected to grow to 140 emails a day by 2018

Of the 85 emails received on average each day by a business person, 75 are legitimate. 36 are sent. According to Clinton, only 30,490 emails were turned over to the State Dept. as non-personal, business related emails. Meaning she only sent or received about 21 business related emails per day. About 100 below the average of the common business person.

Makes one wonder if there were more given the responsibility of the position. Even combining her reported private and personal emails only results in about 43 total per day.

Perhaps she was too busy dealing with the State Dept. direct cables. They get about 1.4 million per year and as Clinton informed us, “They are all addressed to me. They do not all come to me. They are reported through the bureaucracy.”

You may recall that she claimed to have never seen the security requests for Benghazi.

“I was not aware of that going on,” she said. “It was not brought to my attention, but obviously it’s something we’re fixing and intend to put into place protocols and systems to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Hmmm. She didn’t get anywhere near the email that an average business person gets in a day even when you include her private emails. She wasn’t too busy reading direct cables. Just what did this woman do to earn her check?

Does the well under average number of emails mean it’s just the same old vast right wing conspiracy out to get the Clinton’s? Or does common sense lead one to believe given the position that the odds are likely that many, many more emails existed at one point? Is it common sense to believe that a Secretary of State would be likely to have far more communications than the average schmuck at the Acme Widget Company?

We also haven’t even factored in that other Clinton cohorts were utilizing @clintonemail.com addresses. Clinton hasn’t admitted to the fact that others were utilizing her private server yet. Did the 62,320 emails include all players? Certainly not likely since Clinton is still in denial as to their existence.

The GOP will continue to put the squeeze on to get Clinton to give full access to her server, but does anyone really think she would be so careless as to leave incriminating evidence on it?

As a departing government official, Clinton would have had to submit a form OF109, which is a separation statement acknowledging that she had turned over all government business related material both classified and unclassified when she left office. Clearly, she is caught here. She either falsified the document by signing it or never signed it. By her own admission, she ‘voluntarily’ turned over her State Dept. emails two years after leaving office. Falsifying documents is an offense worth up to 8 years of hard time if conditions are met.

I would imagine her defense will be that since the recipient of her emails had their copy stored on a government server, her legal counsel advised her that turning over her own copies was merely duplicitous. Who knows if that would hold up in court but the bigger picture as always is actually getting one’s hands on the emails that were not turned over if they still exist. I tend to doubt it as Clinton would know that any email she hid on her own server would exist at the recipient end server and could later be recovered. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a hidden server, wouldn’t you say?

ISIS threatening to kill more Christians in Syria, burn children in cages

ISIS Kidnaps Catholics in Syria, Threatens to Decapitate Adults and Burn Their Children Alive in Cages

That horrendous headline is incomprehensible to peace loving people around the world. The story was then updated.

On Mar. 4, Rev. Freund provided an update: “ISIS released at least 19 Christians on Sunday [Mar. 1] who were among the more than 220 people the militants took captive in northeastern Syria last week, activists and a local leader said.

The 19 released? They had to pay Jizya to the religion of peace.

According to an Associated Press report, “all those [19 people] released were around 50 years of age or older, which suggests age might have been a factor. The Assyrian Human Rights Network, meanwhile, said the captives had been ordered released by a Shariah court after paying an unspecified amount of money levied as a tax on non-Muslims.”

Dear Leader doesn’t like it when we call these people radical Islamic terrorists. He doesn’t accept the premise that they can hijack the religion of peace to use as their call to duty. So lets not call them radical. Lets just call it what it is. Followers of Islam practicing their beliefs rooted in the Quran. Following the word of their God, Allah, as delivered by Mohammed. Just everyday people doing what their religion tells them to do.

When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to [accept] Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. … If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.

Happy now Mr. President? Perhaps it is you that cherry picks what part of Islam to adhere to. Perhaps these men of faith simply decide to adhere to Islam in its entirety, not just the ‘peaceful’ parts as you espouse?

Another day, another Clinton lie confirmed

Apparently, Hillary Clinton has evolved. Like really, really fast. On Feb. 24th, when Clinton was at a tech convention in Silicon Valley and wasn’t in cover-up mode, she pointed out that she carried multiple devices and retained everything. Yesterday, March 10th, she told us she has evolved. While serving at the State Dept., she said she had a single private email account simply for convenience. It was too much hassle to carry multiple devices and manage multiple email accounts.

The video below is from the tech convention. Don’t worry, you only need to watch the first minute or two to get her quotes in context.

So now Clinton utilizes two ipads, an iphone and a blackberry and never throws anything away. Too bad she wasn’t like that at the State Dept. so we wouldn’t have this email controversy today, right?

I would bet a months pay that some really diligent researcher could go back in time and actually find that Clinton has actually been the pack rat, multiple device user all along that she claims to be today. I won’t waste my time being that guy. Proving that Clinton is a liar really doesn’t require that type of time investment. Just let her talk and she’ll contradict herself anyway.

Check out this timelapse video of Clinton through the years