Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lawsuit: Cops ‘forcibly removed’ tampon from mother during traffic stop

Published: 1:00 PM 08/10/2012
By Steve Nelson

Daily Caller - A Florida woman claims that police pulled her over for a minor traffic infraction, strip searched her on the side of the road, and “forcibly removed” a tampon that she was wearing.

The woman, Leila Tarantino, filed a lawsuit against the Citrus County government, Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsey and six unknown officers last week seeking damages.

According to the suit, Tarantino was pulled over last July after a policeman waved her through an intersection at which each had stop signs.

The policeman, the lawsuit says, then pulled her over, approached with his gun drawn and put Tarantino in handcuffs while her two small children — ages one and four — watched.

Tarantino says the officer refused to explain why she was being detained.

Over the next two hours, five other policemen arrived, including a female officer, and Tarantino was “frisked and strip searched twice at the side of the busy road, in plain view of passers by.” During one of these searches, the female officer “forcibly removed” the tampon.

The invasive searches were presumably conducted to find drugs, but Tarantino says in the lawsuit that she only received a citation for “violating restrictions on her driver’s license,” and that officers had not bothered to call in a drug-sniffing dog.

“None of the officers ever found any weapons, drugs, contraband or anything illegal,” says the lawsuit, which alleges the searches were “unjustified, unprovoked, disproportionate and unconstitutional.”

(h/t Broward-Palm Beach New Times)

Tarantino Tampon Lawsuit

Tarantino Tampon Lawsuit

Obama staff ban interviews outside rally

8/10/12 6:29 PM EDT

Politico - Dave Davies, senior reporter for Philadelphia's WHYY radio station and an NPR contributor, reports that Obama campaign staffers prevented him from interviewing voters outside a recent campaign rally featuring Michelle Obama.

"Obama campaign operatives barred me from talking to voters outside the event, to the point of interfering with my interviews and grabbing my microphone," he reports. Multiple campaign staffers interfered with Davies; none would explain why he was not allowed to conduct interviews. (You can listen to Davies' audio report, which includes his exchanges with the staffers, on the WHYY website).

The Obama campaign says that despite Davies' experience, reporters are allowed to conduct interviews.

"This isn’t our policy – reporters can interview whoever they would like at our events," campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt told POLITICO. "Our staff has been reminded of that."

Jennifer Austin, the Pennsylvania press secretary for the Obama campaign, told Davies that the campaign "encourage[s] reporters to talk to our supporters at events," though she would not agree to his request for an interview.

Pastor prosecuted for helping girl escape court-imposed lesbian ‘mother’

by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Fri Aug 10, 2012 13:56 EST


Pastor Kenneth Miller and family

August 10, 2012, ( - Federal prosecutors are presenting their case in a trial against a Mennonite pastor who is accused of helping a single motherescape from the United States with her daughter to evade court-ordered visits with a lesbian whom the court declared to be the girl’s second “mother.”

Ex-lesbian Lisa Miller fled the country after her efforts failed to keep former “civil union” partner Janet Jenkins from having access to her child, Isabella. Jenkins never adopted Isabella and has no biological relationship with the girl, who exhibited signs of emotional trauma following forced visits with Jenkins, according to experts who observed her.

Pastor Kenneth Miller’s attorney, Joshua Autry, is arguing that Lisa Miller (who is not related to Kenneth Miller) had full parental rights at the time the pastor transported her to the Canadian border, and that he was not aware of interfering with any court orders, according to reports by the Associated Press and others.

If convicted, Kenneth Miller could receive up to three years in prison for “aiding and abetting an international parental kidnapping” under U.S. law.

Prosecutors are using e-mails obtained from Google and cell phone records from Verizon Wireless to demonstrate the movements of Lisa Miller and her daughter in 2009, when they say Miller fled to Canada—and ultimately to Nicaragua—with the help of Kenneth Miller and other Mennonites associated with him.

At least two Mennonites who helped in the escape have decided to turn state’s evidence in the trial, testifying against Kenneth Miller, who has not cooperated with the prosecution.

Canadian pastor Ervin Horst has already testified for the prosecution, stating that he drove Lisa and Isabella to the Toronto airport from the Canadian border at Niagra Falls at the behest of Kenneth Miller.

Pastor Timothy “Timo” Miller (also unrelated to Lisa Miller), who also allegedly helped Lisa and Isabella upon their arrival in Nicaragua, has also reportedly agreed to testify in an apparent deal to avoid his own prosecution. A website run by supporters of Timothy Miller, which raised thousands of dollars for his defense, claims the dropping of charges against him is was a “miraculous” event.

According to Kenneth Miller’s Mennonite supporters, the pastor regards homosexual “marriage” as a symptom of the general abandonment of Christian marriage, which “is to be a life-long relationship between one man and one woman.”

While he opposes homosexual “marriage,” he does not see it as the greatest threat to the institution, instead holding that “the greatest threat is a Christianity that has marginalized and compromised Jesus’ teaching on marriage. The teaching of Jesus as understood by the Church for the first 300 years of its history allowed for divorce or separation in rare cases, but remarriage was viewed as adultery.”

He prescribes a “radical repentance within Christianity” as the solution to the problem.

Miller’s supporters explain that “as a follower of Jesus, Ken could not ignore” Lisa Miller’s plea for help to escape Jenkins.

“Ken supported Lisa’s desire to remove herself and Isabella from former relationships which were not in accord with Jesus’ standard. However, he felt only love and compassion for Lisa’s former partner and others involved,” they add.

Related links:

Website supporting Pastor Kenneth Miller:

Ho Bag Group Code Pink to Send Photos of Their Vaginas to RNC Convention

UGH!* Skanky Slutbags "Code Pink"

The radical anti-American Code Pink group is encouraging their members to send snapshots of their vaginas to the RNC Convention in Tampa, Florida.
LifeNews reported:

Taking the silly “War on Women” rhetoric to another disgusting level, the pro-abortion feminists at CodePink have come up with a new campaign: Send your vaginas to the Republican convention.

Upset that Republicans and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney support religious freedom for groups opposing the Obama HHS mandate and wants to end taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business, CodePink thinks it has a great idea on how to respond. The “women’s group” is suggesting that its members and others “Send Your V to the RNC!”

Here’s the text of an email one conservative blogging web site got a copy of recently:

Can’t make it to Tampa to protest at the Republican National Convention? No worries, you can still send your vagina to the RNC!

CODEPINK is asking activists and artists across the nation to submit artistic representations of vaginas for us to deliver to the Republican Headquarters in Tampa.

Draw out a message that the Republicans need to see bright and bold! We suggest you create vagina artwork on 8 1/2″ x 11″ fabric or paper. We will quilt the art together to carry in the March on the RNC on August 27th.

We are also calling for vagina costumes that we can wear in the streets. Is sewing your passion? Do you love repurposing thrift store finds? We’d love to wear your costume!

No photography please. Get creative! Your message of opposition to the war on women will be heard.

Eve Ensler famously said: “My vagina’s furious and it needs to talk.” Our vaginas need to talk, too.

*edit: mine

Welfare Reform Curveball

August 10, 2012

Changes to welfare could increase Americans’ dependency on the U.S. government immediately prior to the elections, posits a recent Romney campaign ad. The attack ad by the Romney campaign states that the Obama Administration plans to quietly gut the work requirements out of welfare reform, leaving only the welfare that was there before 1996. A July Heritage Foundation blog entry by Heritage authors is referenced in the Romney video.

“The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the reform law,” maintain authors Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley in their July 12 blog entry at Heritage’s The Foundry. “The Obama directive bludgeons the letter and intent of the actual reform legislation.”

The directive released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expresses a willingness to grant waivers to states to customize work requirements for welfare under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act.

From the directive:

“HHS is encouraging states to consider new, more effective ways to meet the goals of [Temporary Assistance to Needy Families] TANF, particularly helping parents successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment. Therefore, HHS is issuing this information memorandum to notify states of the Secretary’s willingness to exercise her waiver authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.”

According to an August 8 legal analysis by Heritage’s Andrew Grossman, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has no authority to issue waivers of this sort. “Under the guise of providing states greater ‘flexibility’ in operating their welfare programs, the Obama Administration now claims the authority to weaken or waive the work requirements that are at the heart of welfare reform,” writes Grossman.

Grossman continues,

“But the Obama Administration’s claim that it may weaken or waive work requirements is contrary to law. Section 407 establishes a stand-alone requirement for state welfare plans that brooks no exceptions, befitting its status as the core component of the 1996 reform. It is also absent from the list of requirements that may be waived under Section 1115. Indeed, to eliminate any possible ambiguity as to whether the work requirements could be waived immediately following passage of the 1996 reform, a separate provision specifically states that waivers ‘shall not affect the applicability of section [407]’ (emphasis added).

“The Obama Administration’s argument that the authority to waive a separate section that merely mentions Section 407 places all work requirements at the Administration’s mercy simply beggars belief.”

Ironically, prior to the 1996 welfare reform the Clinton Administration used Section 1115 of the Social Security Act to grant waivers to 43 states to reform state-based Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) programs. As Irene Lurie of the State University of New York at Albany wrote in 1998,

“The dismantling of the AFDC program began with waivers from federal law under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. There was competition and rivalry among states in designing the waivers, but it was not due to the threat of in-migration.”

(In-migration is the theory that citizens might migrate into states with more lax welfare policies, thereby depleting state coffers.)

“A few governors–particularly Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin and John Engler in Michigan–gained the limelight for their tough waiver policies,” Lurie continues. “When they received good press, other governors saw this as a promising strategy. It went even further: if you weren’t doing a waiver, you weren’t really reforming welfare. Between January 1993 and August 1996, when TANF became law, the Clinton administration approved waivers in 43 states.”

The 1996 welfare reform delinked food stamps, cash assistance, and Medicaid. In other words, recipients now have to apply for each program separately. Work requirements and time requirements were added as well in order to create a paradigm shift which emphasized self-sufficiency and the desire for self-improvement (as opposed to cradle-to-grave dependency on the government).

As Star Parker noted in a recent speech at Heritage, “…one of the best things we did [with welfare reform] was help them invest in their own lives, helping them get on that first step out of poverty, which is self-government.”

Time requirements were another important component, she asserts. “But another important component to welfare reform was work, because you’re not gonna get out of poverty if you don’t work!,” exclaimed Parker. “Oh my goodness, I tell many welfare women all across this country–because I do still engage at that level– the key to work is not a minimum wage or promise of government.” Parker’s speech was also arranged by the conservative Clare Boothe Luce Institute.

“The key to work is just get in,” she argues. “Take any job and then work harder than the person above you.”

Update:The Obama administration has released its own video responding to Romney’s ad, which calls the allegations patently false. At Hot Air, Erika Johnsen asks “What’s with throwing Bill Clinton into everything nowadays? Is his popularity really that valuable, or are they just that desperate to remind everyone of the Democrats’ former relative glory?” Perhaps it has something to do with the 43 waivers issued under the Clinton Administration, which I mentioned above. However, the question remains as to whether it is legal for the Administration to issue these waivers, per Grossman’s analysis.

The American Working Class Can't Afford "Green Energy"

Green Energy is a scam that the American people cant afford.Obama is killing jobs and killing an industry that the country will need.
by Kevin C. Caffrey
Friday, August 10, 2012

President Obama is on his way to killing the coal industry in the United States. Before Barack Obama became President he was quoted, stating that he would, "bankrupt the coal industry." The United Mining Association states that 50% of electricity used in the United States comes from coal. To put that into perspective according to UMA each person in the United States consumes 3.4 tons of coal in a year. The United Mining Association states that the demand for coal in 2010 was 1.05 billion tons, and ninety percent of that coal was used in the United States. The United States has the most coal reserves in the world with Russia second, and China third. Coal is the cheapest source of electricity in the United States. UMA argues that for every employee in the coal industry that Obama puts out of work, another 3.5 individuals will lose their jobs somewhere else in the American economy.

The point that the reader will be left with after reading this article is that President Obama and his "double-down" philosophy for "Green Energy" is costing the American coal industry billions and those billions are costing the American people more for electricity. The Mining Association (UMA) argues that coal workers are skilled labor; and that once the coal workers move and change their lives it is difficult to find and train quality workers after the Obama policy for the coal industry fails [emphasis added writer’s opinion].

If President Obama wins the election, then in four more years a new presidential administration may not be able to set America on the right energy track again. The new President will have a hard time putting humpty dumpty (American Energy Policy) back together again. America after another four years of President Obama will have to revamp the energy sector and that will cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars. Green Energy is thirty years out for the American free enterprise system in terms of its development with cost effectiveness. The Obama administration from a public policy perspective should have performed a cost-benefit analysis concerning the Green Energy market. Secretary Steve Chu and the President knew that their policies [The Chu Plan: explains paragraph] acknowledges that the federal government is pushing green energy faster than the free market is ready to accept it.

The American people are not ready to lose thousands of jobs and pay billions more for energy just so the President can tell the United Nations that he is doing everything in his power to meet expectations for carbon emissions. The President first should worry about the coal workers and the national debt of sixteen trillion dollars before he worries about the United Nations and the international community. Does it really matter if the President must tell the United Nations that he can’t meet the seventeen percent drop in carbon emissions that was promised? Mr. Chu believes that in creating artificially higher costs for fossil fuels that people will use less. This is true, but Mr. Chu should be worried about the welfare of the American people more than the welfare of the international community.

The secretary of Energy Mr. Chu is willing to have thousands of Americans lose their jobs in the worst recession since the Great Depression. Secretary Chu argues in his "The Chu Plan" that it does not matter, nor does he care about American jobs or the cost of living for Americans. Tripling the costs of fossil fuels for the rest of Americans is a good domestic policy according to Secretary Chu. How can any person with common sense not think that Mr. Chu is doing the job that the Obama administration wants him to do? This Presidential election is about the road that America will go down. We will be either a socialist nation under the Obama administration or a Romney freedom and liberty America.

In this writer’s opinion the most tragic thing about President Obama is that he doesn’t care about losing billions on bad green energy investments. People in the coal industry and other fossil fuels are losing their jobs, while the American energy sector wastes good money for green energy losses. It seems that the green energy losses do not matter to President Obama because they will be offset by regulating and charging the Coal Industry more to do business. The new costs for doing business are forcing businesses out of business. President Obama has beaten and broke the back of the coal business. There are too many regulations on businesses and the cost of doing business is too high. It is obvious to anyone watching the presidential campaign that somehow "Hope" is dead in this secular world. The global citizen (Obama) has spent too much money and now the world is sick. Yes, the old adage lives on "If America sneezes the world catches a Cold."

The diagnosis does not look good. America can’t help the world, because we are sick ourselves in debt. The National Debt Clock as this paper is written marches closer to sixteen trillion dollars. That amounts to over fifty thousand dollars for every Man, Women and Child that lives in America. President Obama is no longer about "Hope and Change" his campaign is about "Hype and Blame." It is incredible how intelligent and masterful the United States Constitution is written, because it understands and makes allowances to control the inherent difficulties of human emotions and greed. The 2010 elections meant losses for the Democrats and President Obama seems to be acting a little more defensive all of the time.

In 2010 the House of Representatives won a Republican majority. This allowed for changes in the House committees that control the various cabinet departments and agencies. The new House committee for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy where told that they were being put on a tight leash. Broder did some research and discovered: "A House subcommittee voted on Thursday to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gases," President Obama vowed that he would veto any legislation that was placed on his desk that would restrict his cabinets from regulating coal and other fossil fuel industries. It is a good thing that President Obama was put in check like he was by the new Republican House of Representatives. Here are a few facts about the differences between fossil fuels and green energy. It will take 1.3 billion GE wind turbines to take the place of the forty eight percent of electricity that coal power plants produce in the United States. GE Wind Turbines are not cheap they run one million dollars per mega-watt. This means that a 1.5 mega-watt GE turbine would cost 1.5 million and two million if it is installed.

There are times in someone’s life when unbelievable pain and dismay rush through the body. A time when a person realizes that their dreams are shattered. And then this same person looks around in disbelief only to see many other men and their families who worked, loved, and cared for each other being thrown off the cliff like granny. The title of the article is "Obama Regulations kill Ohio Coal Mine Hundreds of Jobs Wiped Out." President Obama is a global citizen .This is evident by his own acknowledgement. This is a quote from an Obama speech at the Berlin Victory Column: "No doubt, there will be differences in the future. But the burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together," In this writer’s opinion, President Obama wants to go down in history with love from the United Nations, and a reputation as the man who took America down. President Obama would then be paralleled only by Mikail Gorbachev who took down the Soviet Union. Global citizens are secularists that despise Nationalism or love of Country; secularists also despise all things American, like the American flag, patriotism, and God. Secular idealists are wolfs that are wrapped in sheepskin. This is what the head of Murray Energy, a subsidiary of Ohio American Energy had to say about President Obama:

"There will be additional layoffs, not only at Murray Energy, but also throughout the United States coal industry due to Mr. Obama’s ‘War on Coal’ and the destruction that it has caused to so many jobs and families in the Ohio Valley area and elsewhere," said Mr. Murray. "Both Mr. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden stated that there would be ‘no coal in America’ prior to their elections," said Mr. Piasecki. "They are making good on their intentions while they destroy so many lives and family livelihoods in this area for no benefit whatsoever," he concluded."

The American people must begin to worry about the future of our country. In a Washington Post article Gattuso points out that President Obama and his administrative agencies have created 106 regulations that add up to 46 billion dollars in costs to business. Former President Bush had 28 regulations with a total regulatory cost to business at 8.1 billion in the same three year time period. Americans are losing high paying jobs for no reason other than the warped ideology of our President. Prices on fuel, food and many other items that move by truck are going up and costing Americans more money. The extra money spent on necessities means that Americans do not have much discretionary income. This greed and corruption is only the beginning of President Obama’s Green Energy cronyism and what is being called green corruption. America does not have the luxury to worry about clean energy at this juncture in American economic history. This is not the Great Depression; in fact this recession economically will have a greater toll on America for decades to come.

During the Great Depression the American dollar was still backed by gold. The way that Obama is running up trillion dollar yearly deficits and printing trillions of dollars without any back up except the American peoples word will catch up to America very shortly. This country cannot stand on paper. The floating world exchanges and national abstract numbers will only float for so long. The housing bubble in the United States is nothing compared to a federal government bubble. When the government is no longer valid to the rest of the world, then America will end up like Greece. And when that bubble bursts one can only hope that they live in a good neighborhood with good friends, and a large arsenal. The riots will begin quickly. The people will want their ‘Free-stuff" and when they can’t get their free stuff from the government. It will be revolution time in America.

Obama: All countries are close allies!

From the show Detektor, Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR. Host is Thomas Buch-Andersen

Feds Halt New Highways In Imperial County, Citing Air Pollution

Friday, August 10, 2012
By Adrian Florido

SAN DIEGO — In a rare move, the federal government has put a stop to new highway projects in California's Imperial County as punishment for the county’s poor air quality.

Effective Aug. 9, the Federal Highway Administration is withholding federal funding for new highways in the county. The county will also not be allowed to move forward on projects still being designed.

Two years ago the Environmental Protection Agency told Imperial County it had 24 months to adopt new rules to improve air quality. Dust, pesticide use, the burning of agricultural fields and off-road vehicles make the air there among the most polluted in the nation.

But the county -- which is bordered by San Diego County on the west, the Arizona state line on the east and the U.S.-Mexico border on the south -- has not met the EPA’s demands to address that. That failure triggered funding sanctions, and this week, the Highway Administration said it could not allow highway projects to proceed.

The county had challenged the EPA's demands for new air quality rules in court, and late last month, the feds and the county reached a settlement to establish new rules. But it could be up to six months before the county is in compliance and highway funding can start flowing again.

Agenda 21 Radio Live Thread Saturday Aug. 11, 2012

Agenda 21 Radio airs every Saturday from 4 to 7 a.m. Pacific Time on KMYC 14010AM in Marysville, CA

Leftists Admit They Want Big Tax Hikes on the Middle Class

Daniel J. Mitchell
August 11, 2012 - While I disagree with statists, I sometimes admire their discipline. They are very good at staying “on message.”

I am 100 percent confident, for instance, that they intend big tax hikes on the middle class, even though they would piously swear an oath to the contrary. Indeed, I suspect more than 90 percent of them secretly would like a value-added tax.

It’s not that they necessarily dislike ordinary people, but privately they understand that you can’t finance big government by taxing rich people.

Simply stated, there aren’t enough of the “1 percent.” Moreover, rich people have significant control over the timing, composition, and level of their income, so class-warfare tax hikes inevitably will fail to generate much revenue (yes, the Laffer Curve exists).

So it makes sense that they want to screw the middle class, but it’s also obvious that they don’t want to admit this is their goal. As such, it’s always interesting and revealing when folks on the left slip up and admit their true intentions.
The New York Times endorsed higher taxes on the middle class in 2010.
The then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also gave a green light that year to higher taxes on the middle class.
Earlier this year, MIT professor and former IMF official Simon Johnson argued that the middle class should pay more tax.

In recent days, more leftists have come out of the we-only-want-to-tax-the-rich closet.

Here’s some of what Jared Bernstein, former economist for Vice President Biden, just wrote for the U.K.’s Financial Times.

That plan will have to include tax increases beyond just the wealthiest households, although that is the right place to start. But what should happen next? …The best thing to do, once the economic recovery is solidly under way, is to simply let the Bush tax cuts expire and return to the tax structure that prevailed under Bill Clinton. …I’d urge Democrats to be forthright with the fact that we’re way below where we need to be in terms of revenue collection.

Bernstein, by the way, was a co-author of the infamous prediction that enacting Obama’s stimulus would keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent.

The Washington Post also is on board with the idea of big tax hikes on ordinary folks.

…it’s impossible to tackle the federal debt by taxing only the wealthy. …the middle class is going to have to pay more…the only way to achieve tax reform with a reasonable increase in revenue is to reset everyone’s rates at Clinton-era levels.

Keep in mind, by the way, that these proposals are just the tip of the iceberg. Once tax rates are pushed back to 2000 levels, then the drumbeat will sound for additional tax hikes.

“The middle class is an easy target”

And, sooner or later, the left will push for its big goal of a value-added tax.

This is not a trivial threat. Obama, for instance, already has expressed support, saying that the VAT is “something that has worked for other countries.” Romney’s also untrustworthy on the issue, having left the door open to this European-style national sales tax.

But the main point of this post is to explain that class-warfare taxes on the rich are a real threat, but they’re also just the camel’s nose under the tent. The left’s real goal is to fleece the middle class.

There’s no way to boost the burden of government spending to European levels without mimicking European tax policies.

And the dirty little secret about European tax policy is that taxes on the rich are about the same on both sides of the Atlantic. The reason government is so much bigger in Europe is that they ransack the middle class.

From the Gun-Free Land of D.C. - DC Superior Court judge robbed at gunpoint

Posted: Aug 10, 2012 5:52 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2012 9:16 PM
By Paul Wagner, @Fox5sPaulWagner

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG (WASHINGTON) - A D.C. Superior Court judge, who recently presided over a high-profile murder case, was robbed at gunpoint last Friday while walking with two others through an upper Northwest D.C. neighborhood.

Judge Ronna Beck was walking with her law clerk and the clerk's boyfriend when two men with guns approached from behind and announced a robbery.

Judge Beck, who recently presided over the trial of five men convicted in the South Capitol Street drive-by murders, did what the robbers wanted and was not hurt in the holdup.

In fact, all three turned over their valuables, telling police the men jumped into a car and fled east toward 16th Street.

According to a police report, the judge and two companions had just left a tennis match over at 16th Street and Kennedy Streets and were walking near the intersection of 17th and Crittenden Streets when two men with guns came up from behind and said "Turn around, give me all your money, drop it."

The judge turned over her purse, which contained a hundred dollars in cash. She also lost her cars keys and a judge's badge. Her two companions turned over their wallets.

The stickup was just one of nine robberies or attempted robberies in the city that day on August 3, according to what D.C. Police reported on its Twitter account.

In fact, robberies have been a major problem for police in recent years -- most of them involving the theft of electronic devices from people on the street.

According to statistics on the D.C. Police website, robberies involving a gun are up 19 percent when compared with the same time last year, and robberies without a gun are up three percent.

The judge's purse, keys and badge were recovered by police but it is unclear how or where.

Judge Beck is 64 years old and has been on the bench since 1995.

Through a spokesperson, the judge declined to comment citing the ongoing investigation.

No one was hurt. There have been no arrests.

Paul Ryan: Hiding Spending Doesn't Reduce Spending

"I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future."
(Remarks by President Obama to a Joint Session of Congress, September 9, 2009)

This afternoon Budget Committee Ranking Member Ryan walked through why the bill put forward by Democrats FAILS the President's deficit test.

The Majority Leader said the bill scores as reducing deficit by $131 billion over the next 10 years.

First a little bit about CBO: I work with them every single day; very good people; great professionals. They do their jobs well. But their job is to score what is placed in front of them. And what has been placed in front of them is a bill that is fill of gimmicks and smoke and mirrors.

Now what do I mean when I say that?

First off, the bill has ten years of tax increases and ten years of Medicare cuts to pay for six years of spending. The true ten year cost when subsidies kick-in? $2.3 trillion.

The bill is full of gimmicks that more than erase the false claim of deficit reduction:

- $52 billion of savings is claimed by counting increased Social Security payroll revenues. These dollars are already claimed for future Social Security beneficiaries, and claiming to offset the cost of this bill either means were double-counting or were not going to pay Social Security benefits.

- $72 billion in savings is claimed from the CLASS Act long-term care insurance. These so-called savings are not offsets, but rather premiums collected to pay for future benefits. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad has called these savings, A ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

Additionally, the nearly half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts cannot be counted twice. Medicare is in dire need of reform in order to make certain that we can ensure health security for future seniors.

Using Medicare as a piggy bank, it raids a half trillion dollars from retirees health coverage to fund the creation of another open-ended health care entitlement.

The Presidents chief Medicare actuary says up to 20% of Medicare providers may go bankrupt or stop taking Medicare beneficiaries as a result. Millions of seniors who have chosen Medicare Advantage will lose the coverage they now enjoy.

Objections to the policy aside, you cannot use these savings twice to both extend the life of Medicare and to pay for other spending. The half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts are either to extend the programs solvency or to reduce the cost of this deficit but not both as its authors claim.

When you strip away the double-counting of Medicare cuts, the so-called savings from Social Security payroll taxes and the CLASS Act, the deficit increases by $460 billion over first ten years and $1.4 trillion over second ten years.

Finally, one of the most expensive and most cynical of the gimmicks applies to Medicare physician payments, the so-called Doc Fix.

By your own estimate, the Doc Fix adds an additional $371 billion to the cost of health care reform. With the price tag beyond what most Americans could handle, the Majority decided to simply remove this costly provision and deal with it in a stand-alone bill.

Ignoring this additional cost does not remove it from the backs of taxpayers. Hiding spending doesnt reduce spending.

U.S. Army Tactical Manuals Describe How to Control Domestic Insurrection

Susanne Posel
August 10, 2012

In 2010, the US Army’s Operating Concept 2016-2028 was published and explains how armed forces in the US and overseas will behave in the future. Specific tactical operations, special “theater”, and organized forces are outlined along with the capabilities and priorities of the US armed divisions.

In simple terms: a full spectrum operations manual that details stratagems both domestic and foreign.

Presidential administrative National Security Strategy documents explain how to defend the Republic within domestic borders with suggested scenarios where a group of political reactionaries commandeer a prominent area of a town or city which requires that the US Army support local law enforcement in conjunction with state officials – including local government representatives.

In times of domestic insurrection, the Executive Branch can enforce armed support to state governments and local police departments with or without their approval because the continuity of government is the endgame and must be preserved. In this event, domestic intelligence gathering become paramount to maintain a clear chain of military command to be able to stop the home-grown insurgency. This would empower the Department of Homeland Security with the approval of the President, to enact the Insurrection Act and deploy armed troops with in the US to stop rebellion, insurrection, and lawlessness. While the initial powers are reserved for the state and local governments, and Posse Comitatus (PCA) restricts and delays the Executive Branch in enforcement, the current presidential administration with the aid of the Pentagon is seeking to rescind the PCA in order to facilitate control over domestic terrorism.

The Federal Protective Service (FPS) has been given the responsibility to protecting federally owned property while preparing for civilian led riots expected in the near future. And part of the preparatory measures was an order of 150 sets of riot gear that was requested to be filled exponentially.

The FPS is anticipating that police or military wearing the gear would encounter “blunt force trauma” to the upper torso, as well as potential beatings with “blunt objects”.

In June of this year, the US Army requested bids for riot gear that was answered by A2Z Supply Corp, in which specified equipment was to be delivered to West Point Academy in New York.

The purpose of these patrol units was to aid “with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack” and provide “coordinate defense support of civil authorities” under NORTHCOM and other commands including federal homeland defense efforts.

As outlined in the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) processes are defined by operational environments in regard to battle space, effects, evaluation of threats and adversaries while determining the course of action. In regard to civil situations, and to maintain intelligence and operational purposes, preparations with regard to terrain are inconsequential.

Enabled by an executive order from 1982, which states that intelligence gathering abroad could be used domestically and on American citizens, permanent resident aliens which are categorized as American persons.

According to the RAND Corporation document , Street Smart: Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield for Urban Operations, the use of IPB in urban areas will alleviate some of the anticipated “analytic difficulties posed by urbanized areas.”

By training in American cities, the armed forces can realize maneuvers and special considerations that are needed to control urban infrastructure in the case of civil disturbance and insurrection. Having foreknowledge of the people living in the specified cities that are marked for control assist in the “critical operational success” of not only “knowing the enemy” but also the ability to retain a level of concealment and surprise.

When the US Army is “called upon to operate in villages, towns, and cities their directive will be to “neutralize American citizen’s technological capabilities” using “sophisticated intelligence equipment” and advanced tactical training.

The Marine Corp has created a law-enforcement battalion (ELB) consisting of specialized military police officers (SMP) will take the role of current street cops while still remaining part of the Marine Corp.

SMPs would be deployed to assist in any event of civil disturbance, handling of detainees, use biometrics to identify suspects and conduct forensic work. Their assistance is not limited to conducting DUIs and writing speeding tickets in an effort to re-brand the Marine Corps as being more involved with average work now allocated to local law enforcement.

The Marine Corp Intelligence Requirements Handbooks presents new methodology to combat civilian rebellions and is meant to inspire intelligence professionals working on computer-based intelligence efforts.

The tactical operations, combined with the current training exercises being observed across our nation were laid out in documents like this. And the evidence that this is real and is being planned for are coming in eye witness reports at a staggering rate.

National Guard has been witnessed in Virginia conducting “wellness checks” and patrolling residential neighborhoods as well as downtown city areas.

One of the numerous reports of preparations for martial law that are happening across the nation is taking place now until August 17th in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin where a training exercise with M1117 armored security military vehicles that were used in Afghanistan to hunt for insurgents.

The US Army Reserve “wanted to alert the public to the training dates so residents are not alarmed when a pack of heavily armored military vehicles is driving around the county.”

Captain William Gedddes commented that the drills were conducted to make sure the officers remain alert and do not become “rusty” in their training with the M1117s.

While the Sheboygan County police department had no foreknowledge of the drill, Geddes commented that locals should not “create safety hazards” on the roads be drawing attention to the vehicles.

The US Army, wanting to control the public perception of their drills, claimed that they were training on civilian roadways and wanted to make this known to the public so as to not insight speculation as to their presence.

The Pentagon, decrying the false flag assertion of increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the US, is asking Congress to lay aside Posse Comitatus (PCA) in an effort to increase their use of military on the streets of America.

According to Section 1385 of the Posse Comitatus Act: “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

While specialized military police are currently working with local law enforcement, the Pentagon is attempting to alleviate “legal restrictions on the activities of US armed forces” by convincing Congress that the PCA is unnecessary.

Law-enforcement battalions , consisting of specialized military police officers (SMP), are being set up to work with local police while remaining part of the Marine Corp.

SMPs would be deployed to assist in any event of civil disturbance, handling of detainees, use biometrics to identify suspects and conduct forensic work. Their assistance is not limited to conducting DUIs and writing speeding tickets in an effort to re-brand the Marine Corps as being more involved with average work now allocated to local law enforcement.

Citing James Holmes’ apartment and use of home-made bombs, Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero told Congress that the threat “from both homegrown terrorists and global threat networks is real and presents a significant security challenge for the United States and our international partners.”

Furthermore, USNORTHCOM and Leon Panetta, US Secretary of Defense, has readily admitted that US armed forces will collaborate with local law enforcement “if called upon”.

The US Army has put out a solicitation for riot gear in preparation for civilian unrest in the US. On their official government website, the call for non-lethal equipment coincides with requests from DHS for allocation of riot shields, face masks, polycarbonate batons and body armor.

In collaboration with an executive order signed in 2001 by former President George W. Bush, DHS will “coordinate the executive branch’s efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.”

Contained within the US Army Military Police training manual for Civil Disturbance Operations are outlines describing how the US military will use the arsenal at their disposal to quell domestic riots, confiscate firearms and kill Americans during times of mass civil unrest.

The explicit use of “deadly force” when confronting “dissidents” is clearly stated with the refusal of a “warning shot” and the directives toward weapons that rioters or demonstrators will experience in the name of continuity of government.

Many citizens are witnessing movement of military equipment from the East and the West coasts of America. In plain sight, a train carrying tanks was seen come through Burbank, California.

The globalist Fascists who are turning our free nation in to a Dictatorship view this probable fact as a threat and are preparing to quash it right now. Because of this infiltrated takeover of our country, we are all in grave danger.

Susanne Posel’s post first appeared on her blog, Occupy Corporatism.

And now a word from "Son of Sam"......

'Son of Sam' David Berkowitz speaks to the Daily News, decries violence as 'senseless' and prays for his victims in notorious 1976-77 killing spree

From jail cell 35 years to the day his reign of terror ended, Berkowitz says society needs to take the 'glory out of guns.' He is serving six 25-years-to life sentences for shooting 13 people in cold blood, killing six.

David Berkowitz has changed from heartless mass murderer to born-again Christian behind bars.

By Tanyanika Samuels
Published: Friday, August 10, 2012, 3:00 AM
Updated: Friday, August 10, 2012, 3:00 AM

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS - He is one of New York’s most notorious serial killers.

He shot 13 people in cold blood, killing six.

Yet 35 years to the day his reign of terror ended, David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam, speaks gently from his jail cell with the words: society needs to take the “glory out of guns.”

“It’s all senseless,” he said from the maximum security Sullivan County Correctional Facility in upstate New York, where he is serving six consecutive 25 years-to-life sentences.


The “.44 Caliber Killer” lamented the recent spate of shootings that have claimed such innocents as a young boy in the Bronx, moviegoers in Aurora, Colo., and worshipers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

“Society has to take the glory out of guns. Young people have no business carrying a gun. I would love to speak bluntly to those gangbanging teens and wanna-bes and tell them prison is nothing like what you think. If you’re packing a gun, you’re making a big mistake, and you’ll regret it.”

Police arrested Berkowitz outside his Yonkers home on Aug. 10, 1977, ending a 13-month shooting spree. Since then, Berkowitz appears to have gone through a personal and spiritual transformation, and developed an all-consuming passion to discourage youth from lives of crime.

“I’m looking beyond gun control. That’s for the legislators to wrangle with,” he said. “My hope is just that young people would understand just how terrible this violence is. When they use a gun against someone else, they ruin their lives too,” he said. “It’s not worth it.”

He said, “One day, I hope that guns will lose their glamour, that it would be seen a social disapproval for those in gangs. I know that’s a bit simplistic, but to me the whole tragedy is that young people are losing direction and don’t value life or have no clue why they’re on this Earth.”

He mentioned the killing of Lloyd Morgan, a 4-year-old cut down by a stray bullet in the Bronx last month.

“As months and years go by, you realize that that one moment of uncontrolled impulse leads to loss of life....Look at that 4-year-old who was killed.

Berkowitz, seen here in a 1979 photo from Attica State Prison, shot 13 people, killing six in 1976 and 1977.

“You know, you get into this gang fight, all the weapons come out and everyone starts firing away without thinking, the bullets start flying. Next thing you know, for this one moment of unleashing your anger, you go to prison for many, many years.”

It is the kind of perspective that comes with time.

He is now 59, and indeed seems very different from that dark-haired monster with the devilish smirk. Berkowitz is easygoing and affable. His all-white hair is close-cropped, his neat mustache streaked with gray. He winces at the mention of “Son of Sam” and doesn’t like to talk much about those dark days.

“It’s too painful,” Berkowitz said in a thick Bronx accent. “I continue to pray for the victims of my crimes. I do wish them the best in life. But I’m sure the pain will never end for them. I regret that.”

He no longer seeks parole, saying it’s the “proper road to take” to spare the victims’ families further anguish.

Beginning in July 1976, the then-24-year-old postal worker stalked his victims in lovers’ lanes or on quiet neighborhood streets. His crime spree started in the Bronx, then moved to Queens and Brooklyn, sparking unprecedented fear.

Discos emptied and streets were virtually deserted at night. His preference for brunettes sent panicked young women scrambling for blond wigs and cutting their hair.

He would sneak up on his victims, unleashing a barrage of shots through car windows, or shooting point-blank in street encounters.

Police investigate Cadillac where man and woman were shot by David Berkowitz at 211th St. in Bayside, Queens.

On July 29, 1976, he pulled his Charter Arms .44-caliber Bulldog out of a paper bag and fired five times into a car in the Bronx, killing Donna Lauria and wounding Jody Valente. On Oct. 23, 1976, Berkowitz fired five shots into a car in Queens, wounding Carl Denaro.

On Nov. 27, 1976, Donna DeMasi and Joanne Lomino were wounded while walking in Queens. On Jan. 29, 1977, he killed Christine Freund in Queens. On March 8, 1977, Virginia Voskerichian was shot dead as she walked on a Queens street.

On April 17, he killed Valentina Suriani and Alexander Esau in the Bronx, a block from the first shooting, leaving a taunting note.

On June 26, Judy Placido and Salvatore Lupo were wounded outside Elephas, a disco in Queens.
On July 31, he killed Stacy Moskowitz — the only blond victim — and left Robert Violante blinded in Brooklyn.
Cops had christened the unknown assailant “the .44 Caliber Killer,” after his weapon of choice.

The eerie moniker, the one that would endure, came from a menacing letter left near one of the crime scenes and another missive sent to Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin.

His correspondence with Breslin kept the public riveted.

David Berkowitz's correspondence with the Daily News' Jimmy Breslin kept the public riveted.

Detectives lead Berkowitz to Police Headquarters on Aug. 11, 1977.

Looking back, Berkowitz said, it was a time in his life when he was “lost,” “tormented” and “confused.” He was heavily into the occult. After his arrest, Berkowitz claimed his neighbor's Labrador retriever ordered him to kill.

Sitting in the prison’s visitors room dressed in a bright yellow polo and green elastic waist pants, Berkowitz grimaced when he recalled the past.

“I tell you, I felt like I was under demonic control,” he said. “I don’t even recognize that person. ‘Son of Sam’ represents evil and satanic things. That person is like a total stranger to me now.”

Ten years into his prison sentence, Berkowitz became a born-again Christian. Over the years, he has taken on various prison ministries.
“Some guys call me Pops,” he said. “I'm like a grandfather figure to some of them.”

But, he added, “Even here, guys can’t get over my past. They hold grudges. I try to keep a low profile but not everyone likes me. They keep their distance though, they don’t bother me.”

Each day, there’s a 5:30 a.m. wakeup for food service, and he spends two to four hours in the morning on his electric typewriter (he’s not allowed on a computer and he’s computer illiterate) writing letters to his friends, preparing the youth messages. He studies the Bible.

His afternoons are spent working at the prison’s Intermediate Care Program, a 64-man housing unit for prisoners with mental health issues.

“I enjoy working with them. It’s one of the gifts God has given me,” he said. “I’ve walked in their shoes. I know what it is like to struggle with depression and suicide attempts and despair. I feel needed there.”

He washes dishes in the prison kitchen. It’s lights out at 11:15 p.m.

In his time behind bars, Berkowitz has seen an endless parade of young men enter those prison gates. It has sparked a passion in him to mentor youth.

“I think it’s a big tragedy when I see young men with their macho faces like they’re cool when I know they are really scared to death,” he said. “I know because I’ve been there. Prison is a house of pain. It’s not what you see in the media and on those crime shows.”

Berkowitz spreads his message with the help of a faithful group of a dozen Christian friends who have reached out to him over the years. They maintain his website, and print religious tracts telling of his life story, his conversion to Christianity, his warnings to youth (some 750,000 of those pamphlets have been distributed all over the world).

Daily News reporter Tanyanika Samuels.

For Berkowitz, these friendships are a vital lifeline.

“God has put some really great, caring people in my life,” he said. “To me, they are more than friends, they are family.”

Berkowitz’s own family is no longer a part of his life. His birth mother, Betty Falco, whom he called “a lovely lady,“ died many years ago. He is estranged from his half-sister and stepsister. His adoptive mother died when he was a teen. He lost his adoptive father in March.

He clings to memories of growing up in the Soundview section of the Bronx; of exploring Bronx neighborhoods like Throggs Neck and City Island on his bicycle.
Those memories compete with fantasies about what life would be like “if I didn’t take those wrong turns.”

He imagines himself as “a working-class guy,” married with kids, perhaps even grandkids, living somewhere in the Bronx.

“I have regrets more than words can say,” he said solemnly.

“I have regrets about all the people I hurt, about what my life would have been like. I’ve missed out on a lot. But God has given me peace about my situation.”
He doesn’t mark these so-called “anniversaries.” The only real reminders are media requests for interviews, and even those have dramatically waned over the years.

Recently, he did reflect on how close he came to dying that hot August night 35 years ago, when police officers closed in on him, guns trained at his head. Years later, while in Attica, he survived a razor blade attack to the neck.

“I’ll be the first to say that I don’t deserve to have my life spared,” Berkowitz said, “but I believe God spared my life for me to do the things I’m doing now.”

He remains “haunted” by his past and doesn’t believe he’ll ever shake the “Son of Sam” persona. But he is working on creating a new legacy.

“I want people to see my God is a God of miracles,” he said.

“If He can save someone like me, he can save anybody.”

Lion is no longer a main course at dinner thanks to left-wing asshats

By Deb Gruver
Published Friday, August 10, 2012, at 6:05 p.m.
Updated Friday, August 10, 2012, at 11:09 p.m

The Wichita Eagle - A Wichita restaurant that is planning a one-night-only, exotic dinner next week has decided to remove lion meat from the menu after animal-rights and social-action groups protested.

Taste & See, a restaurant on East Harry at the Office This complex between Hillside and Oliver, is serving the dinner featuring kangaroo, alpaca, crocodile and water buffalo, among other meats.

Chef Jason Febres said Friday night on his Facebook page that, “We did took a second look ... and realized that yes, it can be a little shocking and disturbing for some people. ... I did felt touched and didn’t mean to offend anybody so I decided to make it right and substitute the Lion course.”

Febres’ sold-out dinner caused quite a fuss among groups such as wild-animal advocates Born Free USA and via the social-action site, where a petition was started which called for people to pressure Febres to cancel the dinner. He has no plans to do so and said some of the information about his dinner has been misleading.

Febres said his original plan was not to serve wild African lion but rather lion meat that was farm-raised. He said he also is not adding lion meat – or any of the other meats featured at the $160 dinner Tuesday – to his regular menu.

“It’s just ignorance,” he said of some of the information going out in e-mails about his event.

He also stressed that the African lion is not an endangered species.

Born Free USA and other groups are pushing for the lions to be given such status. Born Free USA sent out an e-mail blast to its members about Febres’ dinner. At, a petition was started against the dinner.

Its e-newsletter says that Febres “is going to slice and dice exotic animals from around the world and pretend the meal he’s creating is something chic and wonderful. As bad as it is that he is cooking bits and pieces of African lion and other species usually spared from North American dinner plates (alpaca, antelope, crocodile, hare, kangaroo and water buffalo), what might be worse is that enough people have agreed to pay $160 for the ‘experience’ that it is sold out.”

Born Free called the dinner “absolutely nauseating” and urged members to call or e-mail Taste & See.

Some members forwarded the e-mail to The Eagle.

Anita Robertson, a Born Free supporter who lives in Massachusetts, said she supports many animal and environmental groups.

“I think it’s disgusting,” she said of the dinner. “I think it’s revolting.”

Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free, which has offices in California and Washington, D.C., said his group and others have petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the African lion as endangered. The group also has raised concerns about the safety of eating such meat.

“Lion meat is not consumed anywhere in the world as a staple,” Roberts said. “This is a publicity stunt by a few restaurants around the country.”

An Arizona restaurant last year canceled its plan to serve farm-raised lion meat in tacos after people protested.

Roberts said lion meat, no matter the source, is a “significant campaign issue for us.”

“We believe that wild animals belong in the wild, and there should be no slaughter for human consumption, especially in the U.S.,” he said.

Contributing: Hurst Laviana of The Eagle

Amish enjoy unexpected boom in numbers

High birthrates and decline in defections spur growth

In this July 13, 2011 photo, Amish women shop at an Amish-owned country store in Centerville, N.Y. Centerville, a town south of Buffalo, has an established Amish community. Longstanding Amish population centers in Pennsylvania and Ohio have lost families while Amish numbers in New York have boomed in the past two years, according to a new study by Elizabethtown College researchers. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

By Colton Totland
Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Washington Times - Practitioners of one of America’s fastest-growing and dynamic religious communities still get to Sunday services by horse and buggy.

The country’s famously technology-shunning “Old Orders” Amish may appear vulnerable in an age of iPads and instant global communication, but a comprehensive survey suggests that the nation’s Amish religious communities are in fact thriving, with a settlement founded every month on average in dozens of states across the country.

A combination of traditionally high birthrates and falling defection rates among adults — more than 4 in 5 people raised in Amish homes now opt to stay within the community — has led demographers to predict that the number of Amish communities in the United States will double over the next 40 years.

Amish families are dispersed across 29 states — stretching from Montana to Florida — within 456 autonomous settlements, a sharp increase from the 179 settlements listed in the 1990 census. Analysts see no reason for this trend to slow and project the number of believers to approach 1 million by the late 2050s.

The religious census, authored by a team of researchers from Ohio State University, cites those high birthrates and an unprecedented retention rate within the communities as the main reasons for the rapid growth.

The Amish shun contraception, and families average six to seven children. Despite the temptations of the outside world, more than 250,000 people live within Amish settlements, the study reports, and about 85 percent in the younger generation continue the way of life once they reach adulthood.

“The Amish are successful at socializing their sons and daughters into the faith,” Joseph Donnermeyer, a professor of rural sociology at Ohio State and the study’s lead author, said in an interview. “The Amish aren’t isolated, they are a dynamic culture. They’ve just evolved in a different direction than mainstream America.”

The Amish were part of an ultraconservative Anabaptist movement born out of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, and are known in mainstream society for traveling via horse and buggy and refusing or strictly limiting their use of electricity and other modern conveniences. Amish settlements emphasize close-knit communities where households, not churches, hold communion on a rotating basis, and where the main occupation traditionally has been farming because it allows men to remain near their families.

The Amish believe in adult baptism — the main reason the movement broke with other Protestant groups in the 1600s, when churches began baptizing babies in part to monitor population for tax and military purposes. Mr. Donnermeyer said that since World War II, the percentage of Amish youngsters who have reached this final stage of baptism has skyrocketed, and reflects in large part the growing distance between mainstream society and Amish ways. More than a century ago, the gap between the Amish way of life and those of surrounding rural communities was not large. Now, the chasm between the Amish way of life and that of the “English” — the term often used to describe non-Amish neighbors — has become much harder to cross.

“There’s a bigger lifestyle gap today,” Mr. Donnermeyer said. “I’d say the baptism rate now is about as high as it’s going to get because there’s a ceiling now where it can’t go much higher.”

The Amish traditionally are associated with Pennsylvania as well as Midwestern states such as Ohio, which together account for about 40 percent of the total U.S. Amish population. In Ohio’s Holmes County, 42 percent of the population is Amish. LaGrange County in Indiana is another largely Amish area, with 37 percent. The Greater Holmes County settlement, which sprawls across six counties (Holmes, Wayne, Tuscarawas, Coshocton, Stark and Ashland), is the largest settlement, with nearly 30,000 Amish, followed by the Lancaster/Chester County settlement in southeastern Pennsylvania.

“My guess is that in 15 years, we’ll witness a county whose population is majority Amish, and Holmes County is likely to gain that distinction first. Perhaps LaGrange County in Indiana will not be far behind,” Mr. Donnermeyer said.

Even so, the Amish continue to expand into several other states. New York in particular has gained more than 15 settlements in the past three years, and Missouri, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Kentucky each now have more than 20 settlements.

Amish families have started arriving in states even farther afield, including Colorado, Arkansas, Montana and Maine.

“The Amish are taking advantage of land prices, so they are often locating in rural counties that have been declining, both economically and in terms of population size,” Mr. Donnermeyer said.

Amish community leaders also say they see growing clusters of farms and settlements, with newly married couples tending to stick closer to the parental family farm.

“You want to keep a community together,” Fannie Erb-Miller, editor of the Amish newspaper the Budget, recently told the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. “But you have to go where there’s enough land to hold you. That’s more of a challenge these days.”

The migration of Amish families to these counties can mean significant changes for those communities, according to the study, despite the principle of Amish communities of keeping to themselves. Despite the potential for conflict with existing communities, Mr. Donnermeyer said, the impacts of the Amish have been seen as generally positive.

Amish migration “slows down the population decrease and could even turn it around. The Amish have very low unemployment and [are] good entrepreneurs. They have positive economic benefits to counties,” Mr. Donnermeyer said.

Many Amish families no longer consider farming as their sole occupation because they often cannot find and maintain enough land to sustain themselves. In response, many families have turned to other crafts, such as carpentry and construction, to earn income. The emphasis on being close to family remains, however.

“The preference is to be self-employed,” Mr. Donnermeyer said. “It’s an imperative among the Amish that they seek to find economic activity that does not weaken their sense of community. It’s only in the biggest communities where the Amish can be seen working in factories.”

8-Year-Old's 'Dreams Crushed' After Being Denied Entry to Obama Event

9:38 AM, Aug 10, 2012

The Weekly Standard - An eight-year-old girl's dreams were crushed when she was denied entry into an Obama event in Colorado. "Alana has Asperger’s and she doesn’t do well in the heat. So her dad waited until 4 p.m. to show up to the event because his tickets said the president would speak at 5:30," according to this local report:

Here's the transcript:

ANCHOR: Ticket in hand but not allowed inside. That’s the story for some people who showed up too late to see the president speak last night in Grand Junction.

ANCHOR: He took the stage an hour early…and was finished before he was even supposed to begin. And now as KJCT News 8′s Janelle Ericsson reports one local girl and her father are more than disappointed.

ALANA WENGER: He’s an African American and he’s the first one in our lifetime.

ERICSSON (REPORTER): An eight-year-old’s dreams were crushed when she wasn’t let in to see President Obama speak at Grand Junction High School.

ALANA WENGER: When they said that no one could go in I was so frustrated.

ERICSSON (REPORTER): Alana has Asperger’s and she doesn’t do well in the heat. So her dad waited until 4 p.m. to show up to the event because his tickets said the president would speak at 5:30.

SHANNON WENGER: I thought what a great historic event to take my daughter to and she’ll remember it her whole life. I wanted to instill a sense of patriotism and then we got there and they said nope sorry. No explanation, just you can’t go in and she spent the rest of the day yesterday saying, “I really wish I could have seen the president talk.”

ALANA WENGER: Because I was really wanting to see the president and I couldn’t.

ERICSSON (REPORTER): But the part that rubs this father and daughter the wrong way is that after they were told they wouldn’t be allowed inside a man was let in.

SHANNON WENGER: That a prominent Democrat would get let into the event after we were told the Secret Service said nobody else is allowed in. It’s a security risk…but there was obviously somebody that wasn’t.

ERICSSON (REPORTER): And Wenger says Obama’s people are contradicting what his campaign is all about.

SHANNON WENGER: A lot of his campaigning is about people shouldn’t be treated special because of who they know or how much money they have and we saw it in action yesterday that somebody did get treated special.

ERICSSON (REPORTER): Worst of all, is that people were never told the doors would close once the president arrived. And they had no idea Obama would show up and take the stage an hour early.

SHANNON WENGER: Now this memory that my daughter would have had of seeing the president speaking she will always remember that’s the time I didn’t get to.

ANCHOR: Wenger says he’s considering changing his political affiliation now. He says he’ll still vote in November but he’s weighing all his options.

USDA spends $2M, gets one intern, program fails

August 10, 2012 9:30 am
Joel Gehrke

Washington Examiner:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials spent $2 million on an internship program that had one intern, as it failed to use properly $63 million in federal funding provided for USDA to protect itself from hackers.

The USDA inspector general discovered that the Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) “funded an intern program for a total of $2 million which, while funded as a security enhancement project, only resulted in one intern being hired full-time for ASOC [Agriculture Security Operations Center],” according to a new report.

“While the intern program may be a beneficial step in the long-run, it did little to further the more pressing objective of improving USDA’s IT security,” the inspector general said. The $2 million included $686,000 for “development and implementation of a networking website” in FY 2010 and 2011 and another $192, 500 in housing costs for the intern.

The intern program was an example of the USDA’s broader failure to manage 16 projects designed to protect the department from regular IT security threats. Before 2009, when it requested a $44 million increase to its $18 million security budget, the USDA depended on external organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security to alert it to such threats.

The USDA “made some progress,” according to the report, but not the effort was plagued by errors. “Specifically, we found that some of OCIO’s projects did not meet the purposes outlined in the Congressional request for funding or were not targeted to improve the most critical IT security risks,” the inspector general explained. “Additionally, some of these projects were not completely implemented, and were not sufficiently coordinated. This occurred because OCIO did not adequately plan projects and determine how it would utilize both internal and external resources.”

The result of that bureaucratic mismanagement? “[T]he Department’s information systems are still at risk, even after expending $63.4 million of funding increases received in FY 2010 and 2011,” the report found.

H/T Lachlan Markay

Your government at work

According to PennDOT traffic engineer John Ambrosini, paint crews usually have a foreman on the job to clear any dead animals off the road before the paint-spraying truck equipment passes by. This crew didn't have a foreman that day.

By NBC News staff

While repainting traffic lines, road crews in Pennsylvania inadvertently laid a fresh coat of yellow paint over an unforeseen obstruction.

A dead raccoon, seen by motorists earlier this week, was caught beneath the paint gun of the crew’s vehicle.

A motorcyclist, Sean McAfee, noticed the coated road kill on his way home from work and took a photo of the flattened critter covered with yellow paint.

“When I saw it, I almost wrecked my motorcycle because I was laughing so hard,” McAfee told The Tribune-Democrat.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said the accident was unavoidable.

“They did try to stop the paint gun,” traffic engineer John Ambrosini told The Tribune-Democrat. “But with the amount of congestion Thursday, the squirrelly geometry of the road and the size of the equipment, they couldn’t turn around to go back and fix the mistake.”

Ambrosini said paint crews know to avoid such animals and usually a foreman vehicle travels in front or behind the vehicle to remove any obstructions. But the crew didn't have a foreman that morning, and the equipment was too big to turn around in traffic on the curvy, narrow road, so the line couldn't be painted without the carcass in the way.

A two-foot break in the lines shows where the crew apparently tried to avoid the deceased animal.

“We were out the next morning to clean it up,” Ambrosini said.

An unpainted spot is all that remains where the vermin was run over, and Ambrosini said he is unsure when a crew will redo the paint job.

He said that "painting the yellow lines over the existing lines is not easily done,” adding that the problem occurs “pretty frequently.”

The Postmodern President

The challenge is finding anything his campaign says that is true.

President Obama spent his formative years in academia, so he's no doubt familiar with postmodernism, the literary theory that rejects objective reality and insists instead that everything is a matter of interpretation and relative "truth." At any rate he's running the first postmodern Presidential campaign, now organized almost exclusively around allegations about his opponent that bear no relation to the observable universe.

The most important document of this new approach to politics may be this week's now famous TV commercial in which a man on camera accuses Mitt Romney of killing his wife. (The man's late wife, not Ann.) The spot features a Missouri steelworker called Joe Soptic, who recounts how Bain Capital bought his plant and eventually closed it, costing him his job and health benefits. "A short time after that," he says, Ilyona Soptic was diagnosed with cancer. "I don't know how long she was sick and I think maybe she didn't say anything because she knew we couldn't afford the insurance."

He continues: "There was nothing they could do for her. And she passed away in 22 days. I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he's done to anyone, and furthermore I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned."

It's a sad tale, affectingly told. The production values are also excellent, courtesy of Priorities USA Action, Mr. Obama's super PAC that ostensibly doesn't coordinate with his campaign. But its notions about cause and effect are, well, novel.

Bain bought the struggling company GST Steel in 1993 and held the investment in a turnaround bid throughout Mr. Romney's tenure as CEO, which ended in 1999. He had been gone from Bain for two years when the mill went bankrupt, in 2001, amid a larger competitive upheaval that reshaped the U.S. steel industry. Mr. Soptic's wife died five years later, in 2006.

Mr. Soptic also revealed to CNN that when he worked at GST, his wife had her own health insurance policy through a thrift store job, which she lost after an injury in 2002 or 2003. By then he'd been hired somewhere else, but that plan didn't cover spouses.

So Mr. Romney is to blame because of decisions he didn't make at a business he didn't run that may or may not have set in train a series of random unconnected events many years apart that included Ilyona Soptic's illness. Even more culpable is the butterfly in Peking that flapped its wings and forever altered the course of history.

At least the Obamateers didn't suggest that Mr. Romney was the direct biological cause of her cancer. Perhaps they are saving that charge for October, given that a routine Democratic theme is that Republicans are in favor of killing people. After all, the most substantive liberal critique of Paul Ryan's budget is an ad depicting his stand-in literally flinging an old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff.

The other day Nancy Pelosi said the GOP believes there should be "no government role" in food safety and "They do not want to spend money to do that." Therefore the Republican Party is "the E. coli club" that Ms. Pelosi implied wants to poison children.

Riffing as only the postmodernists can, the House Minority Leader sat for a separate session with the Huffington Post to declare that "Harry Reid made a statement that is true. Somebody told him. It is a fact." What she means by "fact" is that the Senate Majority Leader asserts with zero proof that Mr. Romney got away with paying no taxes for a decade, which is "true" because he says an anonymous investor called to say so. If the food inspectors ever went by Reid-Pelosi evidentiary standards, we'd all be dead.

The same pattern tessellates across the entire Obama campaign, from former White House counsel Bob Bauer's insinuation in July that Mr. Romney is a "felon," to the Tax Policy Center's white paper that makes up tax details that Mr. Romney has explicitly disowned, to hanging economic claims on the preposterous analysis of a columnist no one has ever heard of, to the President's serial genuflections about Mr. Romney's "sincere beliefs" that neither he nor any other normal person actually hold.

Mr. Obama likes to claim everything he does is unprecedented, and in this case that happens to be true—true in the old-fashioned, not postmodern, sense.

Our point isn't that politics is often brutal and unfair. That's always been so. And it isn't that Mr. Obama promised to elevate the national conversation for an era of partisan comity. Dumping that 2008 pose was inevitable.

The point is that more than any President we can recall, Mr. Obama isn't trying to persuade voters that he deserves to stay in office because of his philosophy, record or positive vision for the country. Rather, his case is that he deserves re-election because Mr. Romney is worse, and he is so very much worse because of things that were invented in the West Wing but are detached from reality.

The entire theory of the Obama campaign seems to be that the more outrageous the claim the better, because the more you repeat it the more the media will talk about it, and the lie will achieve a kind legendary truth.

A postmodern postscript: The Obama campaign was at first more than happy to slipstream behind the Priorities USA smear, refusing to disavow the cancer ad and deflecting questions by claiming not to "know the specifics" (Robert Gibbs) or "know the facts" (deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter). But even their professions of ignorance turn out to be false.

In May, Mr. Soptic appeared in an official Obama for America ad—"I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this message," it concluded. Mr. Soptic told reporters his life story on a conference call, hosted by the Obama campaign and . . . Ms. Cutter.

Connecticut town threatens to take overgrown pet bunny from girl, 7

Published August 10, 2012

"I don't want the bunny to go," Kayden Lidsky said, according to an online petition. ( - A 7-year-old Connecticut girl will lose her 20-pound pet rabbit if North Haven officials get their way.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Arthur Hausman issued a cease-and-desist order to the Lidsky family two weeks ago, informing them that they were violating town zoning regulations because their property was smaller than the 2 acres required to keep rabbits and other types of livestock.

More than 1,800 people have signed an online petition demanding that town officials allow Kayden Lidsky to keep the 3-year-old Flemish giant rabbit named Sandy. Kayden's father, Josh Lidsky, has vowed to appeal the order and is angered that town officials have upset his daughter.

"I don't want the bunny to go," Kayden Lidsky said, according to the petition on

"She's not a mean bunny," Kayden told WTIC-TV. "She doesn't bite people. She only licks."

North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda said town officials are not trying to take the bunny away from the girl, but are instead trying to get Josh Lidsky to respond to neighbors' complaints about blighted conditions on his property.

In May, town officials inspected the property and asked Lidsky to take several actions, including removing the rabbit hutch, replacing missing siding on his house and repairing an unfinished addition.

Lidsky says he's appealing Hausman's order about the rabbit to the town's Zoning Board of Appeals, but he's willing to clean up his yard.

"The whole story is about my daughter and the bunny," Lidsky told the New Haven Register. "That is hitting below the belt. I want the bunny to stay on the property, for my daughter's sake."

Linda Thibault, president of the Hopalong Hollow animal rescue service in Norwalk, started the online petition on

"The situation with North Haven's zoning is ridiculous," she told the Register. "We're not talking about a breeder or multiple rabbits. We're talking about one pet bunny who is obviously beloved and well-cared for.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Hat Tip:

Discrimination Claim: Homeland Security Secretary favored women pals for jobs

Lawsuit: Janet Reno Napolitano favored women pals for jobs

Last Updated: 12:29 PM, August 10, 2012
Posted: 2:43 AM, August 10, 2012

New York Post - A veteran US law-enforcement official has filed a blockbuster discrimination lawsuit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, charging she pushed him aside to make way for a less-qualified woman who’s “enjoyed a long-standing relationship” with the anti-terror chief.

The lawsuit, which was first reported yesterday by blogger Debbie Schlussel, identifies the woman as Dora Schriro, who was later appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as commissioner of the city Department of Correction, a post she still holds.

The court papers also allege that Suzanne Barr, Napolitano’s chief of staff at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has engaged in “numerous” acts of “sexually offensive behavior” intended to “humiliate and intimidate male employees.

Barr’s alleged acts include calling one man “in his hotel room and screaming at him that she wanted his ‘c--k in the back of [her] throat.’ ”

The suit was filed by James T. Hayes Jr., special agent in charge of New York City investigations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Hayes, who began his career with the feds as a border patrol agent in 1995, formerly served as director of ICE Detention and Removal Operations in Washington, DC, where he oversaw about 8,500 workers and a $2.5 billion budget.

But Hayes says he was demoted following President Obama’s election and the appointment of Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, to head the Department of Homeland Security.

In court papers filed in Washington federal court, Hayes says Schriro — who previously served as director of the Arizona Department of Corrections under Napolitano — was named a “special adviser” to Napolitano on detention and removal operations in February 2009 and began to replace him at DHS and ICE meetings.

“Schriro was not as qualified for the position plaintiff had because of lack of federal law-enforcement experience,” Hayes’ suit says.

“Schriro did have experience, however, working with Secretary Napolitano. Schriro enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the secretary.”

The suit doesn’t detail the nature of their relationship.

During her 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Napolitano publicly denied rumors that she’s a lesbian. In a 2009 interview, she said, “I just happen not to be married.”

When asked at that time if she was “seeing anybody now,” she answered, “Yes, my staff.”

Hayes’ suit says that when it became clear he was going to be removed from his post, he “felt that he was being targeted because of his gender.”

He charges that in April and May 2009, ICE chief of staff Barr “removed the entire contents of the offices of three male employees, including nameplates, computers and telephones, to the men’s bathroom at ICE headquarters.”

“Barr also created a frat-house type atmosphere that is targeted to humiliate and intimidate male employees,” court papers say.

In addition to the alleged hotel phone call, Barr allegedly “covertly took an ICE BlackBerry device assigned to a male special agent in charge and sent a BlackBerry Messenger message to his female supervisor indicating that the male employee had a crush on the female supervisor and fantasized about her.”

“Further, Barr promoted and otherwise rewarded those male employees who play along with her sexually charged games,” the suit says.

Napolitano hasn’t formally respoded to Hayes’ suit, which was filed in May.

In response to a request for comment from DHS, ICE Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale said, “ICE doesn’t comment on unfounded claims and will respond to Mr. Hayes’ allegations as appropriate through the judicial system.”

Robin Campbell, press secretary for the New York City Department of Correction, said: “Commissioner Schriro’s selection and service at DHS was based on the merits. Any suggestion to the contrary is false.”

Savage: 'Bhagwan Shree Obama' leading Democrat cult

Presidential 'savior' serving everything but the Kool Aid
Published: August 10, 2012


The Democratic Party, led by “Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Obama,” is more like a religious cult than a political party, asserts talk-radio host Michael Savage.

“I don’t remember a party behaving the way this one has behaved,” the host told his “Savage Nation” listeners.

The president, said Savage, “is not really seen as a political figure as much as he is a religious figure.”

Savage noted film director Spike Lee’s comment, in a CNN interview to be aired tomorrow, that Obama has been seen as “a savior, black Jesus.”

“If you were to ask most of the party adherents whether they consider Obama to be a religious figure,” Savage said, “I would think many of them would say yes.”

Savage said Obama “is a like a Jim Jones or a Baghwan Shree Rajneesh,” referring to the People’s Temple leader who led 909 people to their deaths in Guyana in 1978 and the East Indian guru who founded a town in Oregon in the 1980s that drew followers from all over the world.

“The only thing Obama’s not given to members of the Democratic Party is the Kool Aid,” Savage said.

“Bhagwan Shree Obama,” he said, is “the head guru, who instead of driving 13 Rolls-Royces, drives Air Force One, Two and Three and the U.S. military.”

Obama has “garnered an international following,” he said, “because he espouses the international socialism that is accepted” worldwide.

“He resides in a mansion in D.C. where the cult members come to ask for favors,” the talk host said. “They genuflect before King Obama … sometimes he grants favors. He’s known to make things up as he goes along.”

Savage pointed to Nancy Pelosi’s insistence that the spirits of suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul spoke to her at the White House.

Pelosi “sounds like a brainwashed member of a cult,” Savage said, noting she could become speaker of the House again.

“This is the woman who was third in line for the presidency, who shoved Obamacare down our throats.”

In 2008, as WND reported, many of Obama’s campaign events took on the air of a religious rally, with rapturous, and sometimes fainting, faithful filling large arenas in which they breathlessly awaited his appearance to the throbbing beat of what could easily pass for contemporary worship music.

Superior virtue of the oppressed

The Democratic Party, Savage said, “is very much like a cult steeped in victimhood.”

“It is like a cult that walks around with a chip on its shoulder saying, ‘We’re oppressed, and it’s those evil white males in the Republican Party who are keeping us back from our progress.’”

Citing British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Savage said Democrats display “the superior virtue of the oppressed.”

If a person is oppressed, Savage explained, he often assumes he is morally better than others.

For the Democrats, anybody but a white, male Christian heterosexual is considered virtuous, he said.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh drives by his followers in Oregon in 1982

A “Savage Nation” caller who specializes in helping brainwashed cult members recover agreed with Savage that the Democratic Party bears some of the marks of a cult: an abandonment of reasoning ability and the “perfect storm” of arrogance, elitism and fear.

Democrats, Savage said, have revived the 1960s, promoting their freewheeling, unorthodox dogmas while telling others “your religious traditions are making you uptight.”

“Many of the young twitterers don’t realize they’ve been programmed by a cult,” Savage said.

He offered as an example a conversation he had with a liberal about “climate change” in which he presented the fact that core samples scientists have taken in Antarctica indicate there were many warming and cooling cycles in the climate long before the Industrial Age.

“If you dare challenge it with science, you are considered apostate,” Savage said.

“They just say it’s known, but the process of science requires constant discovery,” he argued.

When you hear them say “all scientists agree, you know it’s a complete lie.”

Savage’s show can be heard Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time on local stations nationwide and via the Web.