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JULY 03, 2020
Summary of Key Facts: Vaccine Injury in the African American Community

Summary of Key Facts: Vaccine Injury in the African American Community

1. Civil engineers, not vaccines, produced the large gains in life expectancy over the 20th century.

Guyer et al. (2000) reviewed a century of annual vital statistics for the U.S. and found that about 90% of the decline in infectious disease mortality among U.S. children occurred before the introduction of mass vaccination campaigns. The large gains in life expectancy over the twentieth century were mostly the result of the construction of water and sewer systems, improvements in food safety, hand washing, improvements in housing, and decreased crowding in U.S. cities.

More information:
https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.106.6.1307

2. Vaccines can and do cause injuries. In 1986, Congress gave liability protection to vaccine makers. The U.S. vaccine schedule has more than tripled since then.

Children who are injured by vaccines are forced into a separate court system

(The Office of Special Masters within the United States Court of Federal Claims). Pharmaceutical companies do not even have to defend themselves — the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stands in on their behalf. There is no jury and no discovery. With liability protection, pharmaceutical companies seek to add as many vaccines as possible to the schedule in order to increase profits. Children born in the 1940s, 1950s, or 1960s got 3 or 4 shots. Children born in the 1970s or 1980s got as many as 12. Today, the CDC recommends children get 53 shots with 74 different antigens by age 18.

More information:

$4 Billion and Growing: U.S. Payouts for Vaccine Injuries and Deaths Keep Climbing

CDC Recommended Vaccine Schedule 1986 vs. 2019

NCVIA: The Legislation that Changed Everything—Conflicts of Interest Undermine Children’s Health: Part II

3. None of the vaccines on the U.S. schedule were tested against an inert saline placebo in clinical trials.

Double blind randomized controlled trials are the “gold standard” in evidence based medicine. The Informed Consent Action Network (2018) reviewed the FDA

applications for all of the vaccines currently on the national schedule and discovered that none of them used an inert saline placebo.

In 2013, the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) studied the entire Childhood Immunization schedule and stated: “No studies have compared the differences in health outcomes… between

entirely unimmunized populations of children and fully immunized children… Furthermore, studies designed to examine the long-term effects of the cumulative number of vaccines have not been conducted.”

More information:

The Complete Failure of HHS to Conduct the Proper Science Required to Demonstrate Vaccine Safety

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK206938/

4. 54% of kids have at least one chronic illness (including ADHD, allergies, asthma, arthritis, autism, autoimmune disorders, cancer, diabetes, and obesity).

54% of U.S. children today suffer from serious chronic health conditions. America’s highly vaccinated children have serious chronic health conditions, including severe allergies, asthma, attention deficit disorder, autism, arthritis, diabetes, learning disabilities, seizures, pediatric cancer and more. One in six has a learning disability; one in 34 has autism; one in two has some health ailment.

More information:

R.F. Kennedy, Jr. “The Sickest Generation: The Facts Behind the Children’s Health Crisis and Why It Needs to End”, ebook, childrenshealthdefense.org.

5. The CDC destroyed evidence that black boys are 3.36 times more likely to develop autism if they receive the MMR vaccine before age 3.

In August of 2014, CDC senior vaccine safety scientist, Dr. William Thompson, invoked federal whistleblower status and testified to Congressman William Posey that his vaccine branch supervisors had ordered him and other scientists to destroy data showing that black children were suffering disproportionate harm by the MMR vaccine.

Dr. Thompson issued a press release through his attorney stating, “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism.”

An estimated 156,000 African American children might have been spared debilitating neurological injury if the CDC scientists had told the truth when the increased risk was first known to them in 2001.

Dr. Thompson gave Congress thousands of pages of documents showing widespread fraud in CDC’s vaccine division.

Full statement: http://vaccinesafetycouncilminnesota.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Thompson-statement.jpg

6. Recent studies show that African Americans have a stronger immune response which also increases risk of vaccine injuries.

Dr. Gregory Poland at the Mayo Clinic states that “African Americans have much higher antibody responses to this viral vaccine, rubella, than we have seen in any other population.” He goes on to say that the dose given to African Americans is two times stronger than it needs to be and that this increases the risk of vaccine injury (video in the first link below).

In 2017, a study by a prestigious team of Scandinavian scientists found that the DTP vaccine, while protecting African children from Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis, was wreaking havoc with their immune systems. Vaccinated children were dying at up to 10 times the rate of unvaccinated children.

A 2010 study in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health showed that black boys were at significantly greater risk of regressing into autism after receiving the thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B vaccination series as infants.

More information:

Mayo Clinic Discovers African-Americans Respond Better to Rubella Vaccine


https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.01.090
https://www.ebiomedicine.com/article/S2352-3964(17)30046-4/abstract

Click to access 26-2010-Hep-B-Autism.pdf


7. The Tuskegee Experiment shows the CDC’s continued blatant disregard for public health in the African American community.

In 1972, a government whistleblower, Peter Buxtun, told Senator Edward Kennedy, that for the previous forty years, beginning in 1932, the CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service conducted the so called “Tuskegee Experiment” to study the progression of untreated syphilis in impoverished African- American men in rural Alabama. According to the CDC, which took over the study in the early 1960s, none of 299 syphilitic sharecroppers were ever told they had the disease. The CDC purposefully withheld penicillin from the men and lobbied against their recruitment by the U.S. army which would have given them mandatory syphilis treatment. The agency actively prevented participants from accessing syphilis treatment programs elsewhere. CDC’s victims in that study included numerous men who died of syphilis, 40 wives who contracted the disease, and 19 children born with congenital syphilis.

More information:

Whistleblower Peter Buxtun and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

8. The CDC recently experimented on low-income black and Hispanic infants without informing the parents.

Beginning in 1989, the CDC conducted an experiment on nearly 1,500 black and Hispanic infants in Los Angeles, using an unlicensed measles vaccine, without obtaining permission from the parents or disclosing that the drug was a high potency experimental vaccine. The CDC only halted its secret experiment in 1991 when companion clinical trials conducted on illiterate populations in Senegal, Guinea- Bissau, and Haiti showed increased death rates and severe immune system disorders among female infants who received the vaccine.

More information:

https://www.nvic.org/nvic-archives/newsletter/vaccinereactionjune1996.aspx

http://articles.latimes.com/1996-06-20/local/me-16843_1_los-angeles

9. Autism rates are just the tip of the iceberg.

In the U.S., black children are 6x more likely to die of asthma than white children.

Black infants are 2x more likely to die as white infants.

Black mothers die at more than 3x the rate of white mothers during childbirth.

More information:

https://www.aaaai.org/about-aaaai/newsroom/news-releases/black-children-asthma

Click to access nvsr68_10-508.pdf

http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6835a3

10. We can and must stop these epidemics of chronic disease.

77% of parents have concerns about the bloated U.S. vaccine schedule. These are the CDC’s own numbers.

People must be able to control what goes into their bodies so religious, philosophical, and medical exemptions to vaccination must be preserved.

More information:

https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0396

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is implementing many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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The FCC Just Approved 6 GHz Frequency Band for Wi-Fi and Why You Shouldn’t Use It


APRIL 24, 2020
The FCC Just Approved 6 GHz Frequency Band for Wi-Fi and Why You Shouldn’t Use It
By Dafna Tachover, CHD’s Director of 5G & Wireless Harms Project

Many readers may not fully appreciate the health risks from Wi-Fi technology. This article and our work at Children’s Health Defense lay them out. The bad news is that Wi-Fi health risks are going to get worse. The good news is that you can limit them.

On April 23, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened the 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses. Adding the 6 GHz electromagnetic frequencies band will allow routers to use more frequencies to broadcast Wi-Fi signals. The devices are expected to start supporting the 6GHz Wi-Fi by the end of 2020 and will be branded under the name “Wi-Fi 6E.” The good news is that you don’t have to use it.

Wi-Fi uses the same frequency as the microwave oven, the 2.45 GHz frequency (which means a frequency of 2,450,000,000 oscillations per second). This frequency was chosen for the microwave oven, and then for WI-Fi, because it was an “unlicensed frequency” and open for use.

The 5GHz frequency was added to the Wi-Fi routers to provide broader bandwidth for Wi-Fi- based “smart” devices and the increased data downloads they carry. The higher the frequency, the bigger bandwidth it provides to carry more data—like wider roads for more cars. For that reason, the FCC approved 6GHz. It will now allow even bigger bandwidth for Wi-Fi. Furthermore, adding the 6GHz band of frequencies which haven’t been used for commercial devices thus far, will also reduce interference with the Wi-Fi connection.from other devices.

The FCC has continued to allow more radiation and radiation-emitting devices into our environment with complete disregard for the public’s health and safety. Numerous studies have shown profound adverse health effects from Wi-Fi, both from the 2.45 GHz frequency used for Wi-Fi as well as effects from the pulsation and modulation of the Wi-Fi frequency used to carry the data. Harmful effects include “oxidative stress, sperm/testicular damage, neuropsychiatric effects including EEG changes, apoptosis, cellular DNA damage, endocrine changes, and calcium overload”. Recently, a peer-reviewed meta-analysis was published in the industry’s IEEE journal stating: “For now, wireless technologies must be avoided as much as possible.” The authors continued, “People should be made aware that the EMR from using day to day cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices are harmful to human health”.

In fact, the first study that showed that wireless radiation can break DNA was from 1996, and it was on the 2.45 GHz frequency. DNA damage was confirmed by dozens of studies, including the recent National Toxicology Program (NTP) $25 million study by the federal government, which showed CLEAR EVIDENCE that wireless causes cancer and DNA damage. Despite the evidence, the FCC has continued to promote wireless with complete disregard for our health. In December 2019, the FCC announced that it would not review its health guidelines despite clear scientific and human evidence of harm. In response, Children’s Health Defense filed a lawsuit against the FCC, challenging the FCC’s refusal to review the guidelines as capricious, arbitrary, not evidence based and an abuse of discretion.

The impacts of electromagnetic frequencies on the body are complex. While we can test the adverse effects of a specific device or frequency, it is more complex to test the combined impact of numerous frequencies in the environment.

We always suggest that people turn off the Wi-Fi in their router and use a wired connection to the internet instead. Based on the results of the testing mentioned above, if they continue to use Wi-Fi, we advise they should at least disable the 5GHz frequency in the router. To learn how to do this and how to use the internet safely by using a wired connection, check out CHD’s step by step guide.

According to industry sources, internet providers will start offering “upgraded” Wi-Fi 6E routers by the end of 2020. We advise against getting these routers or allowing companies to switch your router. Furthermore, we advise that you purchase your own router rather than use the internet provider’s router. Some of the internet providers use your router to provide “hotspot” for people on the street. While you pay for the router, the service provider is making money by selling access to your router to passersby. Besides likely being illegal, this means that when you disable the Wi-Fi in your router, you do not necessarily stop the router from emitting radiation. From what we have seen, only the provider can disable the “hotspot” frequency. The providers often deny the existence of the hotspot access until they finally admit to it and agree to disable it. If you have your own router, this is a non-issue.

Children’s Health Defense seeks to protect children from harmful environmental exposures and to prevent the chronic health conditions that plague over half of America’s children. Using wired internet connection instead of Wi-Fi in homes is one of the key ways we can keep children healthier.

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New vaccines will permanently alter your DNA


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New vaccines will permanently alter your DNA
Feb 6
by Jon Rappoport
February 6, 2020

I repost this story now because, in the rush to develop a vaccine against the China coronavirus in the next 90 days, public health officials are mentioning several experimental technologies—never before released openly for public use. (China coronavirus archive here.)

One of those technologies is: DNA insertion.

The reference is the New York Times, 3/10/15, “Protection Without a Vaccine.” It describes the frontier of research. Here are key quotes that illustrate the use of synthetic genes to “protect against disease,” while changing the genetic makeup of humans. This is not science fiction:

“By delivering synthetic genes into the muscles of the [experimental] monkeys, the scientists are essentially re-engineering the animals to resist disease.”

“’The sky’s the limit,’ said Michael Farzan, an immunologist at Scripps and lead author of the new study.”

“The first human trial based on this strategy — called immunoprophylaxis by gene transfer, or I.G.T. — is underway, and several new ones are planned.” [That was nearly five years ago.]

“I.G.T. is altogether different from traditional vaccination. It is instead a form of gene therapy. Scientists isolate the genes that produce powerful antibodies against certain diseases and then synthesize artificial versions. The genes are placed into viruses and injected into human tissue, usually muscle.”

Here is the punchline: “The viruses invade human cells with their DNA payloads, and the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA. If all goes well, the new genes instruct the cells to begin manufacturing powerful antibodies.”

Read that again: “the synthetic gene is incorporated into the recipient’s own DNA.”

Alteration of the human genetic makeup.

Not just a “visit.” Permanent residence.

The Times article taps Dr. David Baltimore for an opinion:

“Still, Dr. Baltimore says that he envisions that some people might be leery of a vaccination strategy that means altering their own DNA, even if it prevents a potentially fatal disease.”

Yes, some people might be leery. If they have two or three working brain cells.

This is genetic roulette with a loaded gun.

And the further implications are clear. Vaccines can be used as a cover for the injections of any and all genes, whose actual purpose is unannounced.

The emergence of this Frankenstein technology is paralleled by a shrill push to mandate vaccines, across the board, for both children and adults. The pressure and propaganda are planet-wide.

The freedom and the right to refuse vaccines has always been vital. It is more vital than ever now.

What does wall to wall propaganda about an “ominous epidemic” achieve? You have one answer. If it doesn’t immediately pop into your head, read this article again.

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Profile picture for user Tyler Durden

China May Have Accidentally Revealed New Supersonic Cruise Missile In Now-Deleted Footage
by Tyler Durden
Sun, 09/29/2019 – 07:35
https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/china-may-have-accidentally-revealed-new-supersonic-cruise-missile-now-deleted-footage

A now-deleted video clip published by China’s military on Wedensday containe what appears to be the launch of a new type of supersonic cruise missile, according to SCMP.

The original footage which ran just over one minute in length was released on Chinese social media by the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force in connection with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China next Tuesday.

Within the film is a two-second clip featuring an unusual missile being fired from a mobile launcher. In the new version, the scene is replaced with footage of two different missile launches in a desert environment, according to the report.

In the clip the missile appears to have slim dorsal fins, foldable tail fins and additional propellant, all of which, according to one expert who asked not to be identified, suggests it is designed to fly long distances and faster than the speed of sound.

“The new missile would probably have a range of more than 1,000km [680 miles],” the person said. -SCMP

Sound and seizure warning:

The PLA currently possesses the Changjian-10 land-attack subsonic missile which has an operation range of approximately 932 miles.

Ballistic and cruise missiles differ in a number of ways but the latter tend to fly at lower altitudes and at slower speeds, making them more vulnerable to defence systems.

However, the Rocket Force has made significant progress in the development of glider vehicles for its ballistic missiles, like the Dongfeng-17 (DF-17), which is now capable of gliding in outer atmosphere at upwards of five times the speed of sound, making it more able to evade missile defence systems. -SCMP

“Now that the DF-17’s glider technology is becoming more mature it could be used elsewhere. Other missiles, like this cruise missile [in the video clip], could also adopt similar vehicles to carry the warhead,” according to SCMP’s source.

The missile seen in the original footage also appeared to have several unidentified items – which may be jamming and anti-jamming devices.

“These would enhance the missile’s ability to avoid electronic interference or guided interception by enemy missile defence systems, and therefore increase its chances of penetration,” he said.

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America Is Changing
Rick Sapp – 09/27/2019

America Is Changing

In 13 months, we will defeat and send into well-deserved obscurity most of the violently anti-gun, anti-American candidates who are monopolizing the airways with whining. And good riddance.

But all of the “issues,” real or invented, that O’Rourke, Booker, Klobuchar, Castro, Harris and the rest are blathering about today will remain with us for many years. The vehemence of their attacks on America has, I believe, begun to change and divide this democratic republic permanently.

* How do we stop Planned Parenthood and find good homes for the 330,000 babies the organization murders every year?
* How do we end the “my-way-or-the-highway” attitude that has brought our government to a halt?
* How do we convince millennials that without viable borders, we will have chaos?
* How do we remind everyone who is not already a millionaire that capitalism offers a chance — the only chance in the world — to join that exclusive club?
* How, with the study of history dropped in favor of STEM studies, do we show that differences between rich and poor are part of every civilized society … and that this is a good thing?
* How do we address the basic issues that cause individuals to pick up a weapon and indiscriminately harm others?

The Use of Weapons in Society

We in the concealed carry community may be interested in all of the above issues, but we have a special concern about the use of weapons in our society.
Two banned novels with colorfully illustrated book covers: The Man Who Would be King by Rudyard Kipling and Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

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Because they present history at variance with the lens of political correctness, many classic books and writers are now banned from school and public libraries. (Rick Sapp photo)

Whether we find ways to reduce violence in America or not, whether there is an “epidemic of gun violence” as the buffoon candidates screech or not, if the Socialist left wins elections, we will find our firearms options severely limited. Should the screechers come to power and dominate politics in America (as they do the mass media now), the Second Amendment will not stand.

The fact that these “leaders” do not understand the difference between a semi-automatic and a tank or between a hair clip and a semi-auto magazine won’t stop them from implementing anti-gun agendas. Neither will their anti-gun agendas, if fulfilled, put a dent in violence in America.

What’s to Be Done?

We must address two factors to make a dent in America’s “epidemic of gun violence.” First, we must strengthen our mental health community and insurance support for counseling and intervention. Second, inner-city communities with high rates of gangs and violence must recognize that violence is a cultural issue and can only be solved within the culture. The imposition of programs, outreach and activism of all sorts will fail unless communities accept the responsibility to teach their children that the “culture of violence” is unacceptable.

The concealed carry community is part of the great silent majority who live in “fly-over land” between the coasts. But we can ill afford to be silent as the Socialist left reshapes our country. In the end, the attack on guns, religious faith and fundamental American principles is an attack on us. It’s personal. America may very well be changing, but this is a culture war. And we cannot afford to lose.

About Rick Sapp

Richard “Rick” Sapp was a U.S. Army infantry platoon leader until recruited to the 66th Military Intelligence Group. There, he worked with the West German KRIPO (Criminal Police) at Czechoslovakian border stations during the Soviet invasion of 1968.

Returning to the U.S., he earned a Ph.D. in social anthropology after studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Catholic University of America and the University of Florida, following which he moved to Paris, France, for a year.

After four years with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, he turned to journalism and freelance writing, specializing in outdoor features. His journalism experience includes newspapers and magazines. He has authored more than 50 books for a variety of international publishers.

Rick is married and lives in Florida.

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Janet McDonald
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If there is enough tinkering with the voting booths, Trump may not be re-elected. That is what fears me. Last elections showed that it is not that hard for “them” to screw with the voting machines. “They” did not think that Trump would get so many votes, and “they” were very ill prepared. This time “they” know that Trump is going to get the votes, so if they cannot destroy him before elections, I feel “they” will see he don’t get elected, at any cost.

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Extremely Handsome Herb • 4 hours ago
Does no $hyt ring a bell in regard to the title of the article? And yes, people are very stupid, in fact, the more stupid you are the more likely you are to get into politics, Mr. Trump excepted.

For all of the do gooders we have in this Country facts make no difference, crime is down with the exception of about 4 Cities, and no they will never understand, because they do not want to understand. If they every bother to learn what they are talking about then they will think like us, and us is who they are against, so why would they ever want to be like us?

You have to keep in mind that the best job these people will ever have is to be elected to some office. And the only better job is to run for a higher office, these people will do anything to keep their job and will set their own mother on fire for a better job. There is no lie too great, no trick too dirty, whatever they can get away with is just fine. Every other person on the planet is expendable as long as they get elected.

Why would you spend $1 Billion to get a job which pays less than $450.000.00, it does not make any sense, but take a look at Uncle Joe, his whole family has been enriched by his being elected to every office which he has ever held and he cannot even find his way home all by himself.

We had better hope things change, but I mean for the American People to actually wake up to the facts which are very simple to find, you only have to be willing to learn and that my friends is why change is so very hard!

Semper Fie

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Steve H. • 6 hours ago • edited
They won’t just stop at the 2nd amendment, that is just the beginning. When that falls we will be unarmed, then they will take the 1st then the 4th………. Not on my watch!

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Frederick Davison • 7 hours ago
It isn’t the guns that they are after. It’s control! Plain and simple they want total control over the people of this great nation.

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John Kaline Frederick Davison • 5 hours ago
I’ve said it several times before, but those FEMA camps were put in place for some particular purpose, and it’s never been satisfactorily explained or proved to the general public who may soon become those camp occupants. If you just look around, I believe the state and federal governments already have all power they believe they need to exercise martial law and simply collect all the firearms the FFLs were required to keep records on about who and where they are presently located. Label me paranoid, but I still believe it.s better to be prepared than not.

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Juke 1751 John Kaline • 4 hours ago
NM has a large FEMA camp under the quise of holding illegal aliens.

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Frederick Davison John Kaline • 5 hours ago
That’s why it’s nice that I had a boating accident and lost ALL of my firearms

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GuitarsNguns • 8 hours ago
Just two years ago these same Dems were saying “nobody wants to take your guns we just want common sense gun laws”. Today they want to take our guns. We all know that this was their plan all along but now they are not hiding it and much to the chagrin of the establishment Democrats, they are saying it. We need to teach these little socialists a lesson by soundly defeating their sorry butts in the upcoming. I don’t worry much about Mr Trump getting re-elected but we all need to work to take back the House and increase our lead in the Senate where there are a half dozen RINOs we just can’t trust. If we can do this we will set the progressive movement back 20 years.

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Clark Kent • 8 hours ago
HOORAY for the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude that has brought our government to a halt! ‘Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for’ – Will Rogers.

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from Truth2Freedom
Truth2Freedom’s Blog
1,692 followers
https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/410412/posts/2413266034

The fact that there have been no American flags on the stage at any of the Democrat debates says it all.

Trump had long been friends with nearly all high-profile African-Americans from all walks of life in New York. He has helped countless African-American individuals, schools, and charitable organizations. The man has never demonstrated an iota of racism or even race consciousness. But as we all know by now, the truth is not a left-wing value as Dennis Prager often reminds. They don’t like Trump, so any slur, any fabricated indictment of his character is A-OK, a sanctioned furtherance of the agenda to transform America into their dystopian utopia.

White supremacy? Sounds like a plan. Let’s go with it. No made-up accusation is over the line. No plan to eviscerate the Constitution is a bridge too far. The left loathes the limits our Constitution places on our government. Thank God for the genius of our Founders. Without them, we would not have prevailed to this day. As for the loathsome Beto’s vow to “take our guns,” he has no idea the power of the sleeping giant he has awakened. Americans who revere the Constitution are filled with a terrible resolve.

Will we survive the socialist plan our Left has for us? Only time will tell. Given the Left’s promulgation of homelessness, (they pass out needles and ban straws), their commitment to the further dumbing down of education and their disdain for Judeo-Christian values, to open borders and all that entails, and their fidelity to Marxist socialism, if they take the White House, the House and the Senate, America as we know it will be over. The US will become a class-stratified society like that of old Europe, France before their Revolution. Our elites will see to it that their lives are not impacted in any way by the legislation they mean to impose on the rest of us. That is not part of their plan.

The American Revolution was fought to free the American colonies from the tyranny of and taxation by England. That same liberty-loving spirit led to the Civil War; freedom-loving Americans fought to end slavery. The Republican Party was founded to do exactly that. Any faux historian that says different is lying. America was founded in 1776, its nationhood cemented with the ratification of the Constitution in 1788.

Legitimate historians are rare these days; nearly all have been politicized by academia and its power to persuade, and by its love of Howard Zinn’s slanderous and wholly inaccurate version of US history. The NYT’s silly claim that we have been a nation since 1619 when, according to them, the first slave arrived in the New World is utter nonsense. Academia is now, with a few exceptions, thoroughly corrupt, committed only to the leftist indoctrination of the unsuspecting young.

Only the perceived crimes of America matter now. We are all to be indicted for being born here. We are to be condemned and punished if born Caucasian, as if we had a hand in the nature of our birth. And yet it is those of us who love America and are familiar with our history who care nothing about the color of anyone’s skin. It is the Left that defines people and judges people by their race and not their character. How else to explain their affection for illegal migrant criminals like those terrorizing Montgomery County, Maryland, one example that is being replicated across the country.

The debate of Thursday night should be a huge wake-up call for all freedom-loving Americans. Every one of the Democrat candidates wants to curb nearly all of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights — speech, assembly, the right to bear arms. They mean to restrict our access to health care, fuel, food, electricity, mobility by car or air, goods in markets.

In short, they well and truly intend to transform the country beyond what Obama did on his watch and not in a good way. They mean to punish all of us who support Trump because, like Hillary, we are to them deplorable for loving our country. They are not alone. The DNC debate audience in Houston were mind-numbed clapping seals. The more punitively race-conscious and socialist the candidates’ promises, the more they applauded.

The fact that there have been no American flags on the stage at any of the Democrat debates says it all. One thing is certain: This election season is going to be a bumpy ride. Like the colonists of 1776, we are looking at the choice between freedom and tyranny. All Americans need to be cognizant of the deadly seriousness of their vote in 2020. Trump’s style and his tweets may offend some but his dedication to the preservation of America is boundless. He has pledged his life and fortune to the cause. Gratitude is in order

Source: The Democrat debate was terrifying. Who are these people?

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Treason? Is Former Secretary Of State John Kerry Advising Iran Against US & Trump On Current Hostilities In The Straits Of Hormuz? [Opinion]
POSTED BY: DEAN JAMES JULY 20, 2019
Posted by Dean James at Right Wing Tribune

Treason? Is Former Secretary of State John Kerry Advising Iran Against US & Trump On Current Hostilities in the Straits of Hormuz? [Opinion]

Remember back to last year. On multiple occasions it could be said that Obama’s former Secretary of State, John Kerry was “colluding” (meeting) with the world’s leading funder of state-sponsored terrorism, Iran.

Democrats have spent three years expressing outrage over claims of collusion with a foreign power to undermine our democracy.

Not so much when its a member of the Big Club.

In May of 2018, Kerry was outed for engaging in multiple secret meetings with Iran’s foreign minister to strategize over how to undermine President Trump’s plans to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

By mid-September, Kerry blatantly admitted he was serving as an agent for a hostile foreign power:
Former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted Wednesday that he’s met with top Iranian officials in hopes of salvaging the scrapped nuclear deal — as he slammed the Trump administration for trying to further “isolate” Iran.

The one-time presidential candidate said he’s sat down with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “three or four times” in places including Norway and Munich since leaving office last year.

As evidence of these ongoing meetings mounted, it became clear that Kerry was intent on undermining President Trump’s policies with regard to Iran.

Remember too, Obama’s plan for a strategic alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa that had been in the works since he was candidate Obama.

For leftists, the struggle never ends.

No former president had ever assembled an army of more than 30,000 agitators to fight his successor at every turn of their presidency. Until Obama did. And no president remained in Washington to cast a shadow over his successor. Until Obama.

Now consider Iran’s recent aggression towards Western interests in the Straits of Hormuz.

Here’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressing his anger towards Kerry’s meddling with Iran in September of 2018:

In May of this year Trump told reporters at the White House that Kerry’s actions were “a violation of the Logan Act and frankly he should be prosecuted on that, but my people don’t want to do anything on that.”

Has the reluctance to prosecute Kerry emboldened him?

All of this raises the likelihood of a direct connection between former President Obama and former Secretary of State Kerry and the current spate of Iranian hostilities.

Keep in mind that Deep State overlords consider Donald Trump an existential threat. Most of us would like to know what he’s a threat to aside from preventing the further diminishment of America and the continued exfiltration of the wealth of America’s workers.

Still, Deep State approved Joe Biden was the most recent figure to invoke the “existential threat’ label on Trump

Biden, aka the dumbest man in Washington, is only where he’s at right now because he aligns with both the Never Trump neocons and the Obama/Kerry wing of the same globalist cabal, all of whom are united in wanting to remove Trump.

President Trump has been consistent about the folly of past Mid-East wars for more than three decades:
TRUMP-NEWSPAPER-AD-WHY-ARE-WE-DEFENDING-THE-GULF-OF-HORMUZ-1

Does the Obama/Kerry/Iran alignment view this as Trump’s Achilles heel? Forcing Trump’s hand towards war in the Middle East would likely be one strategy they’d employ to damage his chances of being re-elected in 2020.

Predictably, the media wants to investigate Trump for the fifth time.
MSM-HYPOCRISY-SILENT-ON-CLINTON-BIDEN-FOREIGN-MONEY

Join us at SPREELY if you want REAL NEWS without the leftist censorship!

Dean James at Right Wing Tribune

God Bless.

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n-maduro-venezuela-1200x630
Venezuelans Now Regret Letting Government Take Their Guns Away
Not long ago, millions of Venezuelans decided to become loved by the left and voted away their right to keep and bear arms. Now they regret it.

Published 3 days ago on June 11, 2019 By Warner Todd Huston

Venezuelans Now Regret Letting Government Take Their Guns Away

Not long ago, millions of Venezuelans decided to become loved by the left and voted away their right to keep and bear arms. But now that their government has descended into a socialist nightmare where everyone is starving to death, these same people are now regretting their votes to give away their right to self-defense.

venezuela-violence-1200x630

It is an object lesson for the folks here in the U.S. who want to travel down the same path as Venezuela; gun-free, socialism and all.

Venezuela implemented its gun ban six years ago before their world took its last steps into the living hell it has become. Now they have no defense against the junta and the socialist criminals controlling their nation.

“Hollywood’s favorite strongman banned arms for citizens. It has not ended well for those starving to death under a socialist dictatorship,” actor James Woods noted on Twitter.

https://pbs.twimg.com/card_img/1136824484391006208/X8kUWQbF?format=jpg&name=600×314
James Woods

@RealJamesWoods
Hollywood’s favorite strongman banned arms for citizens. It has not ended well for those starving to death under a socialist dictatorship… #DemocratsAreDangerous https://www.foxnews.com/world/venezuelans-regret-gun-prohibition-we-could-have-defended-ourselves

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Venezuelans regret gun ban, ‘a declaration of war against an unarmed population’
As Venezuela continues to crumble under the socialist dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro, some are expressing words of warning – and resentment –regarding the country’s earlier gun control bill…

And boy is he right.

As Fox News reported on Friday:
“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” Javier Vanegas, 28, a Venezuelan teacher of English now exiled in Ecuador, told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”

Under the direction of then-President Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan National Assembly in 2012 enacted the “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law,” with the explicit aim to “disarm all citizens.” The law took effect in 2013, with only minimal pushback from some pro-democracy opposition figures, banned the legal commercial sale of guns and munitions to all – except government entities.

Naturally, Chavez sponsored a “gun buy-back” program before implementing his confiscation. Few Venezuelans were much interested in the government’s cash. So, by the end of the year, Chavez forcefully seized 12,500 guns. But that was just the start

And when Chavez mercifully died, the country’s next president, Maduro, continued the confiscation policies…

In 2014, with Nicolás Maduro at the helm following Chavez’s death but carrying through his socialist “Chavista” policies, the government invested more than $47 million enforcing the gun ban – which has since included grandiose displays of public weapons demolitions in the town square.

And since then? Well, the government has become despotic and has run roughshod over the Venezuelan people, jailing and shooting them at will. And the people now have no defense to stop Maduro from subjugating them.

“Venezuela shows the deadly peril when citizens are deprived of the means of resisting the depredations of a criminal government,” said David Kopel, a policy analyst, and research director at the Independence Institute and adjunct professor of Advanced Constitutional Law at Denver University. “The Venezuelan rulers – like their Cuban masters – apparently viewed citizen possession of arms as a potential danger to a permanent communist monopoly of power.”

No doubt.

Make no mistake, America. This is what Democrats want to happen here, America. They want the American people disarmed so that there is no resistance to their authoritarian reign. Democrats are fascists at heart but they know that your privately held firearms are the biggest threat to their power. Don’t give away your protection willingly.

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Amazon-Echo-Bezos-Laugh

Amazon employees not only listen to your private conversations captured by Alexa; they also know your home address
05/01/2019 / By Ethan Huff
https://www.newstarget.com/2019-05-01-amazon-employees-listen-to-your-private-conversations-captured-by-alexa.html

Not long after it was confirmed that Amazon employees have been secretly listening to the user commands given to its artificial intelligence (AI) “Alexa” devices, without the knowledge or permission of these users, new reports have come out to show that Amazon employees are also abusing Alexa users’ location data, giving themselves illicit access to customers’ home addresses.

At least five supposedly former Amazon employees recently came forward as whistleblowers to admit that Amazon maintains a covert “Alexa team” of employees, the job of whom is to transcribe, annotate, and analyze the voice recordings captured by Alexa spy devices. This Alexa team is reportedly comprised of employees spanning three different continents.

Since Alexa apparently doesn’t always understand what users are saying or implying, the purpose of this Alexa team is “to help Amazon’s digital voice assistant get better at understanding and responding to commands,” these five individuals claim. But along with this comes secret access to Alexa users’ geographic coordinates, which can easily be plugged into third-party mapping software to identify people’s locations.

Amazon had never intended for the truth about this secret spying program to become public, as the company forced employees who knew about it to sign non-disclosure agreements barring them from discussing it publicly. But they were apparently comfortable speaking anonymously and off the record to Bloomberg, which was the first to blow the lid on it.

“Anytime someone is collecting where you are, that means it could go to someone else who could find you when you don’t want to be found,” says Lindsey Barrett, a staff attorney and teaching fellow at Georgetown Law‘s Communications and Technology Clinic.

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According to Barrett, location data is far more sensitive than most other categories of user information. And the fact that it can potentially be retrieved alongside Alexa user recordings sets up “a big red flag” for Barrett, especially since Amazon has already been caught lying about its technology’s spying capabilities.

For more related news, be sure to check out Surveillance.news.

Just prior to this spying program being exposed, Amazon lied in an official statement, claiming its employees do not have “direct access” to Alexa users’ location data
One of Amazon’s lies was proclaimed on April 10, when the company issued an official statement claiming that members of its Alexa auditing program “do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow.”

But this claim has since been disproven as false, and Amazon has also since issued a more recent conflicting statement claiming that “access to internal tools is highly controlled” – meaning that at least some Amazon employees do have access to private information linking Alexa recordings to specific users and those users’ locations, which could potentially be used for blackmail purposes.

According to Amazon, employee access to these internal tools “is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions.”

“Our policies strictly prohibit employee access to or use of customer data for any other reason, and we have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of our systems. We regularly audit employee access to internal tools and limit access whenever and wherever possible,” the company has further claimed.

It has also since come out that Amazon’s covert Alexa team isn’t just a few employees, but rather thousands spread all across the world. News of this appears to have prompted Amazons CEO Jeff Bezos to further restrict the level of access that Amazon employees have to the system – “perhaps anticipating a fresh Congressional kangaroo court where Jeff Bezos is grilled to explain why Amazon is the new NSA,” to quote ZeroHedge.com.

Sources for this article include:

ZeroHedge.com

NaturalNews.com

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May 30, 2018 @ 02:02 PM 23,367
2 Free Issues of Forbes
Iowa Supreme Court Rules Civil Forfeiture Laws Violate Fifth Amendment, Upholds Pleading The Fifth
https://www.forbes.com/sites/instituteforjustice/2018/05/30/iowa-supreme-court-rules-civil-forfeiture-laws-violate-fifth-amendment-upholds-pleading-the-fifth/#3d1978161655

Institute For Justice
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Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Nick Sibilla Nick Sibilla , Contributor

The Iowa Supreme Court struck a blow on Friday against the state’s civil forfeiture laws, which allow the government to permanently confiscate property without ever filing criminal charges. In a unanimous, 33-page ruling, the court strengthened the constitutional protection against self-incrimination for owners fighting civil forfeiture, revived a motion to suppress evidence, and rejected a tactic commonly used by prosecutors to prevent owners from being awarded thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees.

Iowa has been a surprising hot spot for civil forfeiture, ensnaring motorists, professional poker players, and an entrepreneur who ran a Mexican restaurant for almost four decades. The state even rewards the aggressive pursuit of forfeiture cases: Police and prosecutors can keep up to 100 percent of the proceeds from forfeited property. Little wonder then that forfeiture has become quite profitable for law enforcement. An investigation by the Des Moines Register revealed that Iowa law enforcement agencies had taken over $55 million in cash and more than 4,200 vehicles since 1985.

Spurred by these abuses, last year, Iowa legislators strengthened due process protections for innocent owners, and required a criminal conviction to forfeit property valued at under $5,000. Although Iowa’s conviction threshold is the lowest of the 15 states with a conviction requirement, in 2015, data analysis by the Institute for Justice found that only 14 percent of Iowa’s cash forfeitures topped $5,000. Friday’s ruling should further curtail civil forfeiture.

The case began when Jean Carlos Herrera was driving from New York City to Los Angeles in September 2015. While Herrera was passing through Pottawattamie County, Iowa on Interstate 80, he was pulled over by Sergeant Kevin Killpack for going four miles over the speed limit. During the stop, a drug dog alerted to the car. Without Herrera’s consent, Killpack searched the Expedition, but only found some tools, a cell phone, a hollowed-out ice cream machine, and a Pelican case that “contained drug paraphernalia and remnants of marijuana.” No other drugs were found.

Killpack cited Herrera for speeding but never charged him with a crime. Yet that didn’t stop the sergeant from seizing the car, a 1999 Ford Expedition registered to Herrera’s friend, Fernando Rodriguez, and all the equipment inside.

Less than a week after the Expedition was seized, Rodriguez hired an attorney, who promptly emailed Pottawattamie County that Rodriguez was fighting back as an “innocent owner.” Rodriguez’s attorney also noted that under Iowa law, the government must pay attorney’s fees to property owners who win their civil forfeiture cases. He also noted that “the fees are going to be greater than the vehicle value, so this might be one to let go.”

Soon after, Sergeant Killpack applied for a warrant to search possible hidden compartments within the vehicle, based on the fact that Rodriguez had hired an attorney. According to Killpack, “it does not make financial sense to spend a significant amount of money, in attorney fees, in an attempt to reclaim a vehicle worth $2,132,” which in his mind meant that “there is something much more valuable still inside the vehicle that has not been found by law enforcement in the initial search.”

A district court granted the warrant, though, as the Iowa Supreme Court noted on Friday, Killpack’s warrant application “failed to mention that Rodriguez had argued he was entitled to attorney fees from the State as an innocent owner.” On his second search, Killpack found and seized almost $45,000 in cash hidden inside a false compartment.

In October, prosecutors filed a complaint to forfeit the cash, the car, and the rest of the property taken during the traffic stop, claiming that the property was “drug proceeds” or “used in the transport of drugs.”

The two men (who were now represented by the same lawyer) filed an answer together that stated they had an interest in the seized properties and demanded their return. Herrera also invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to completely comply with the state’s disclosure requirements.

Under state law, property owners who want to reclaim their seized property must fully disclose “the nature and extent” of their interest in the property, as well as “the date, the identity of the transferor, the circumstances of the claimant’s acquisition.” Refusing to comply can result in the property forfeited to the state. Yet those forced disclosures may reveal information that could incriminate the owner or trigger a perjury trap, which would violate the Fifth Amendment.

Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas Waterman noted that Iowa’s forfeiture laws burden owners with a “difficult choice between asserting [their] privilege against self-incrimination or foregoing [their] claim for return of the contested property.”

As Waterman recounted, Herrera omitting that information was “fatal to his claim:” The district court ruled that Herrera’s reply was not a proper answer and so he was not entitled to a forfeiture hearing.

But on appeal, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned that ruling, and held that “assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination excuses compliance” from Iowa’s disclosure requirements for civil forfeiture claims. “The court may not enforce the specific disclosure requirements…over the claimant’s Fifth Amendment objection,” Waterman ruled.

Friday’s ruling also revived Herrera’s motion to suppress evidence, which the district court had dismissed as well. Both the Iowa Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court have ruled that the “exclusionary rule,” which prohibits the government from using evidence that was not lawfully obtained, applies to criminal prosecutions and civil forfeiture proceedings.

In this case, Herrera claimed that the stop, search, and seizure of the car violated the Fourth Amendment and should be suppressed accordingly. Justice Waterman ruled that “the district court must first rule on motions to suppress evidence before resolving forfeiture claims,” since that ruling “determines what evidence the state can rely on during the forfeiture proceeding.”

The court’s ruling should strengthen safeguards for property owners facing civil forfeiture. According to Dean Stowers, who represented Herrera and Rodriguez, “this decision will require the state to establish the legality of the seizure” before the state can attempt “to forfeit property or to compel persons to answer questions about their property.”

A representative from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office said they were “still looking at the possible impact of the ruling” and declined to comment further.

“It appears that we followed the forfeiture rules as they existed at the time, and we argued that the claimants did not follow the rules,” said Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber. ”The District Court and Court of Appeals agreed with our position. The Iowa Supreme Court has now ordered that they are changing the rules, so we’ll all follow the new rules.”

As for Rodriguez, five months after the state filed its forfeiture complaint, prosecutors decided Rodriguez could get back his Ford Expedition. His attorney then filed to recover nearly $9,000 in attorney’s fees and expenses, which, under Iowa law, are owed to prevailing parties. But because the state dropped its forfeiture case just before a court hearing, the district court ruled that Rodriguez didn’t actually prevail because he didn’t technically win on the merits in court.

Justice Waterman rejected this argument wholesale:

“Rodriguez sought to prevent the State from taking permanent possession of his vehicle. He fulfilled his primary objective of getting his vehicle back after months of contested litigation against the State. On this record, we hold that Rodriguez is a prevailing party even though the district court did not expressly find that he was an ‘innocent owner.’”

Moreover, Waterman noted that fee awards “help level the playing field for persons contesting government seizures,” as they “incentivize attorneys to represent citizens seeking return of their property from the government.”

The Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling contrasts starkly with the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Iowa. In 2016, the Eighth Circuit considered the case of Carole Hinders, who ran Mrs. Lady’s, a cash-only Mexican restaurant in Arnolds Park, Iowa. Based simply on the way she deposited her cash, in spring 2013, the IRS raided Carole’s entire business checking account—almost $33,000. The IRS accused Carole of “structuring” her deposits, or deliberately keeping her deposits under $10,000 to circumvent a reporting requirement. She was never indicted.

Institute for Justice

Carole Hinders.

With help from the Institute for Justice, Carole fought back. In October 2014, The New York Times ran a front-page story on her case. That prompted the IRS to announce it would “no longer pursue the seizure and forfeiture of funds associated solely with ‘legal source’ structuring cases.” Less than two months after the Times article was published, federal prosecutors dropped the case against Carole’s cash.

Under the federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, property owners who “substantially prevail” in their civil forfeiture cases are entitled to interest as well as attorney’s fees and costs. Considering that she recovered her cash and even sparked a policy shift at the IRS, Carole believed she had “substantially prevailed.” Unfortunately, in 2016, the Eighth Circuit ruled that she did not, and instead held that “a voluntary change on the part of a defendant, even if it resulted in the outcome sought by the plaintiff, ‘lack[ed] the necessary judicial imprimatur’ to authorize a fee award.” With this ruling, the Eighth Circuit upheld a loophole for the government to skip out on paying hefty attorney’s fees to innocent property owners.

But with the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision, owners fighting forfeiture in state court now have an easier time to be made whole than if their exact same case were in federal court. One Des Moines-based forfeiture attorney told the Des Moines Register that the new decision should deter the government from seizing property, since prosecutors “risk not only the return of the property but a significant attorney fee as well.”

“The Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling is another potent reminder that the best way to prevent abusive seizures is to end civil forfeiture once and for all,” said Institute for Justice Senior Legislative Counsel Lee McGrath. “Iowa legislators should follow the lead of counterparts in North Carolina, New Mexico and Nebraska and replace it with criminal forfeiture.”

This post has been updated to include comment from the Pottawattamie County Attorney.

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Scientists: West Coast bird die-off “is biggest ever recorded” — Stomachs completely empty — “Staggering… Alarming… Unheard of… Never seen anything like it” — “Unprecedented in size, scope, duration” — “Deaths could reach many hundreds of thousands” — “A host of other freakish phenomena” (VIDEO)

Published: February 4th, 2016 at 9:41 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/scientists-west-coast-bird-die-biggest-recorded-staggering-unheard-never-anything-like-unprecedented-size-scope-duration-worst-case-scenario-deaths-could-reach-many-hundreds-thousands-host?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29


http://www.adn.com/article/20160129/scientists-think-gulf-alaska-seabird-die-biggest-ever-recorded
Alaska Dispatch News, Jan 29, 2016 (emphasis added): Scientists think Gulf of Alaska seabird die-off is biggest ever recorded… The mass of dead seabirds that have washed up on Alaska beaches in past months is unprecedented in size, scope and duration, a federal biologist said… The staggering die-off… is a signal that something is awry in the Gulf of Alaska, said Heather Renner, supervisory wildlife biologist at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge… It coincides with widespread deaths of other marine animals, from whales in the Gulf of Alaska to sea lions in California… Common murres and whales… are not the only Gulf of Alaska marine animals to fall victim to ailments… Kachemak Bay saw an eight-fold increase in sea otter deaths… Sea stars in Kachemak Bay in 2015 were found stricken with a wasting disease similar.

http://www.adn.com/article/20160129/scientists-think-gulf-alaska-seabird-die-biggest-ever-recorded
Heather Renner, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge: “We are in the midst of perhaps the largest murre die-off ever recorded”… [In Homer] the beaches are “littered” with murre carcasses… A breeding colony in the Barren Islands that is usually teeming in late summer with adult murres tending their young was deserted this year… “nobody was home… In more than three decades of monitoring murres in the Barrens, we’ve never had complete reproduction failure before“… Similar failures occurred at some other nesting colonies.

Click to access 2016_AMSS_Poster_Sessions.pdf


USGS (pdf), Jan 2016: During March through September 2015, at least 25 seabird mortality events were reported across Alaska… The primary avian species reported included common and thick-billed murres, black-legged kittiwakes, horned and tufted puffins, glaucous-winged gulls, and sooty and short-tailed shearwaters… Some of these avian mortalities were concurrent with whale, pinniped, sea otter, and fish mortalities…

Marine Science Symposium – LIVEBLOG – Thursday

Alaska Public Radio, Jan 28, 2016: [T]his event will likely be the largest and most widespread on record. And seeing the starving birds dying far inland apparently searching for food is “nearly unheard of,” said USFWS’s Heather Renner.

Dead murres wash up on Haines’ beach

KHNS, Jan 15, 2016: “We’re seeing the effects of this throughout the food web,” [Rob Kaler U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist] says… The murres’ stomachs are completely empty, Kaler says… Not only is the bird die-off unsettling, the implications are scary, [bird expert Pam Randles] says. “Our salmon eat that stuff and who knows what else is dying off, or starving, or having trouble?” Norm Hughes has been commercial salmon fishing in Alaska for more than 30 years. He says last season saw skinnier fish – up to 20 percent smaller… “there’s less fish”…

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/21/us/alaska-bird-die-off/
CNN, Jan 22, 2016: “We have never found close to 8,000 birds on a 1-mile long beach before,” [seabird biologist David Irons] said… “It is an order of magnitude larger than any records that I am aware of… Seabird biologists say seabirds are indicators of the health of the ecosystem. Now they’re dying and that is telling us something… this is bigger than I’ve ever seen.”

APRN, Jan 28, 2016: Scientists say murre die-off comparable to Exxon Valdez spill… Heather Renner with USFWS says it is already one of the largest die-offs in history and, unlike when the tanker went aground, not many people have gone out to remote beaches to survey for dead seabirds… “there’s dead murres on the ground everywhere, and it’s hard not to notice them.”

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21689605-thousands-seabirds-are-washing-up-dead-alaskas-shores-murre-mystery
The Economist, Jan 30, 2016: [Probably hundreds] of thousands of these birds have drifted in dead… last summer they failed to raise chicks. And they have been dying in large numbers along the Pacific coast, from California to Alaska… “Whole systems are out of whack,” says Heather Renner… Old-timers in Homer have never experienced anything like this. And they are perplexed by a host of other freakish phenomena…

KTOO, Jan 28, 2016: “[T]here’s dead murres on the ground everywhere, and it’s hard not to notice them.”… The reason for the dead birds is still a mystery… “I think it suggests something more related to the food web structure,” said Renner.

http://homertribune.com/2016/01/murre-deaths-lead-to-more-questions/
Homer Tribune, Jan 2016: Irons found an estimated 7,800 dead murres on a one-mile stretch of beach… he had never seen anything like that. Similar reports came in from other areas… “The really frustrating question of why they are starving to death”… said Heather Renner… [M]urres abandoned their breeding attempts mid-season at many colonies in the Gulf of Alaska, something very uncommon.

http://news.discovery.com/animals/massive-bird-die-off-puzzles-alaska-scientists-1602031.htm

LiveScience, Feb 3, 2016: Massive Bird Die-Off Puzzles Alaska Scientists — Dead common murres have washed ashore in Alaska in alarming numbers … leaving scientists concerned and confused… [The birds] have nothing in their stomachs… [S]imilar events affected seabird populations in Washington, Oregon and California.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/alaskan-scientist-thinks-murre-die-off-related-to-algal-blooms-1.3424246

CBC News, Jan 28, 2016: Bruce Wright, a senior scientist Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association… estimates up to 200,000 Alaskan murres could die. With a population he puts at more than two million, Wright said the species should recover, as long as the food base comes back.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/19/science/what-does-it-mean-when-animals-suffer-a-vast-die-off.html
New York Times, Jan 18, 2016: Animals Die in Large Numbers, and Researchers Scratch Their Heads… The latest victims are common murres… this die-off has surprised experts, because it has been going on for around a year and it covers such a vast area… “I still don’t think we’ve seen the worst,” said [John F. Piatt, USGS seabird expert], who… speculated that if the worst happened, the deaths could reach into the many hundreds of thousands.

Watch CNN’s broadcast here:
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/21/us/alaska-bird-die-off/

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State of Emergency now underway for L.A. gas blowout — Oil begins raining down on homes — Official: “It’s on the brink of pandemonium” — Many worry plume will ignite, cause explosion — Concern over geysers, sinkholes being created — Company: Experts have “never seen anything like this” (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/state-emergency-issued-la-gas-blowout-oil-begins-raining-down-homes-concern-sinkholes-geysers-being-created-official-brink-pandemonium?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Published: January 8th, 2016 at 11:40 am ET
By ENENews

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-porter-ranch-20160105-story.html
Los Angeles Times, Jan 5, 2016 (emphasis added): Utility is installing screens to contain oily mist at leaking well near Porter Ranch… The structures under construction on the west side of the well head are designed to capture airborne droplets of a brine solution that “may have contained trace amounts of oil naturally occurring within the leaking well’s reservoir,” said Trisha Muse, a spokeswoman for SoCal Gas… Now, a mixture of brine water and oil is rising up into the gas company’s natural gas storage zone, then traveling up the well and into the air. As a result, local residents are finding droplets of dark brown residue on their homes, vehicles, fish ponds and gardens… [The company] acknowledged that some residents had asked about “dark brown spots on their property.” “We sampled it and, according to our retained toxicologist and medical expert,” the company said, “the residue contained heavier hydrocarbons (similar to motor oil) but does not pose a health risk.”… On Monday, plaintiffs’ attorneys sent a letter to state regulatory officials [and] demanded that state regulators “explain what is happening with the petroleum now surfacing.”… “There is a complete lack of information in the well files,” their letter says, “to show where the gas and petroleum migrates underground and the risk for creating sink holes and geysers.”


Los Angeles Daily News, Jan 5, 2015: [A]n oily mist… has been surfacing… The seepage is the result of changing dynamics deep underground… “They (the demister pads) are necessary because as the reservoir pressure declines, fluids (oil and water) encroach into the reservoir and are then carried to surface with the gas.
http://www.dailynews.com/environment-and-nature/20160105/oily-mist-surfaces-at-porter-ranch-gas-leak-as-well-pressure-drops

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35257861
BBC, Jan 8, 2016: Residents… point out cars, outdoor furniture and houses which have been marked with brown, oily spots… Tim O’Connor, a lawyer with the Environmental Defense Fund, has called it “an environmental and public health catastrophe,” said . “In terms of timelines this is going to surpass the gulf oil problem by a mile.”


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/us/california-governor-declares-emergency-over-los-angeles-gas-leak.html?_r=0
New York Times, Jan 6, 2016: Gov. Jerry Brown, faced with mounting public anger and no end in sight to the leak, declared a state of emergency… Mitchell Englander, the Los Angeles city councilman who represents Porter Ranch [said] “This is one of the most disruptive, catastrophic environmental events that I’ve seen. It’s a truly chaotic crisis.”… Many who have stayed have taken to wearing surgical masks when they garden to keep out the rotten-egg smell and the oily mist that sometimes leaves brown residue on their cars… Dennis Arriola, the president of Southern California Gas Company [said] that experts had “never seen anything like this.”

Newsweek, Jan 7, 2016: SoCalGas and public officials have turned [Porter Ranch’s Matt Pakucko] and his fellow residents into “guinea pigs.”… [Sally Benson, who runs an energy storage lab at Stanford University] shares a worry of many in Porter Ranch as they deal with the mundanities of the leak: that the gas plume will somehow become ignited, leading to [an] explosion… “They’re really fortunate that this one hasn’t caught fire,” Benson says… [The FAA] has imposed a no-fly zone above Porter Ranch “out of concerns that fumes from the gas leak could be ignited from the air.” Schwecke, the SoCalGas vice president, says workers near the relief well are taking every precaution, not using their cellphones and working with brass hammers, which don’t spark… [David Balen, a local businessman on the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council] showed me photographs of a white dust that had collected on concrete surfaces around his property; an expert was coming to test the substance, which Balen thought was something toxic.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-35244634
BBC, Jan 7, 2016: The governor of California has declared a state of emergency in a suburb of Los Angeles over the leaking of methane gas… the company is installing large mesh screens around the leak site to try and hinder the oily mist from spraying down on the community.

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-01-05/l-a-residents-flee-as-sempra-s-gas-leak-menaces-neighborhood
Bloomberg, Jan 5, 2016: The sulfurous scent of a natural-gas leak hangs in the air as mail carriers wearing gas masks make rounds… “This is the biggest community and environmental disaster I’ve ever seen, bar none,” said Mitchell Englander, who has represented Porter Ranch on the Los Angeles City Council since 2011. “Life there is not on hold — it’s on the edge and it’s on the brink of pandemonium.”

See also: Doctors: “Very unusual” infections being reported around massive gas blowout in LA… “If you’re able to leave do it now, I’m telling you it’s really critical” — Official: Plume is spreading far away, it’s a national disaster — TV: “We’re a living science experiment”
http://enenews.com/doctors-very-unusual-infections-being-reported-around-massive-gas-blowout-los-angeles-youre-able-leave-im-telling-really-critical-official-plume-spreading-away-national-disaster-tv-living-scienc
(VIDEO)

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Doctors: “Very unusual” infections being reported around massive gas blowout in LA… “If you’re able to leave do it now, I’m telling you it’s really critical” — Official: Toxic plume is spreading far away, it’s a national disaster — TV: “We’re a living science experiment” (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/doctors-very-unusual-infections-being-reported-around-massive-gas-blowout-los-angeles-youre-able-leave-im-telling-really-critical-official-plume-spreading-away-national-disaster-tv-living-scienc?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Published: January 5th, 2016 at 2:48 pm ET
By ENENews

Porter Ranch Town Hall Meeting, Dec 28, 2015 (emphasis added):


Rex Paris, attorney (16:30) — “It’s the most massive gas blowout, gas well blowout, in a populated area in history. This has never happened before in a populated area. And so when they tell you that “It’s not damaging”, “It’s just temporary” — whatever nonsense they’re feeding you — understand, nobody knows. It’s never happened before… This can be deadly. Make sure you’re getting treated… Nobody knows what breathing this stuff constantly is doing to [the children]… The gas company says, “This is just the smell you’re reacting to, it’s just temporary, it’s not a problem, it’s not serious” — these people aren’t stupid. How could somebody possibly say that? We have children whose noses are bleeding every day, we have people who suffer from chronic headaches [and] are nauseous every single day. How does that not become a serious issue? Why are they saying something nobody here believes?… They’re trying to convince everybody that it’s all in our heads. It’s a trick.”


Mitchell Englander, Los Angeles City Councilman (45:30) — “I will tell you this goes well beyond Porter Ranch. We’ve had complaints from as far as Chatsworth, Northridge, and Granada Hills. Apparently this plume of toxic chemicals and whatever it might be doesn’t know zip codes. So it does keep moving into different locations and different places… This is the equivalent of the BP oil spill on land, in a populated community… We’ve declared a national disaster here.”


Dr. Richard Kang, pediatrician (52:45) — “Unfortunately the only real way to get away from the symptoms is, unfortunately, you have to relocate – you have to get away from the environment.”


Dr. Brooks Michaels, physician (54:00) — “The defense is capitalizing on the comment that it’s all in your head. Let me clarify a little bit – it’s in your head, it’s in your ears, it’s in your nose, it’s in your throat, and it’s in your chest… We’re seeing asthma increases, we’re seeing people who are using inhalers more often, primarily a lot of respiratory problems… If you have a chance to leave, if you’re able to leave… if you have a chance to relocate, do it now. I’m telling you, it’s really critical. It’s what we don’t know, more than what we do know… A lot of information will be coming out soon about what the chemical carbons are that are so volatile… It’s unbelievable when you see the quantity that’s there that is coming out… What I see in the field is the effect of that. Primarily pulmonary, people will bleed from their nose. It’s not of course just a pediatric problem, it affects all of us.”


Dr. David Smith, veterinarian (57:00) — “I have seen dozens of cases of pets being ill or becoming ill and I do believe it’s related to the exposure to the gas… I’ve seen dogs, cats, birds, pocket pets… The primary symptoms I’ve seen are gastrointestinal vomiting primarily. One dog actually had a torsion — I think is related to it — where the stomach flips on itself, not a good thing. We’ve seen quite a few respiratory problems… the only good solution is treat symptoms and remove pets form the exposure as much as possible, especially the chronic exposure… There are not things you should be inhaling… We have seen dermatologic issues as well, some very unusual bacterial infections in dogs. Interestingly enough, one client had a dog with a very unusual bacterial infection on its face. And the client developed almost the exact same kind of symptoms very soon after that, actually 2 people in the house did… Their physician, thinks it’s related, and so I tend to think these correlations are real.”

CBS News, Jan 3, 2016: “I’ve been nauseous. I’ve felt lethargic,” said his mother Christine Soderlund. “My kids have had nosebleeds, they’ve had headaches… It’s surreal… We are a living science experiment I believe.”

See also: Unprecendented catastrophe underway near L.A.; Largest gas leak ever recorded – “Thousands suffer nose bleeds, vomiting” – Expert: “It’s so far beyond what I’ve ever seen”

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Report: “Red Alert! Sharp increase in radiation… at Fukushima” — Levels spike 400,000% under plant — Almost 1,000,000,000 becquerels per cubic meter — TV: Officials investigating cause
Published: December 10th, 2015 at 4:15 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/report-red-alert-sharp-increase-radiation-fukushima-levels-spike-400000-plant-tv-officials-investigating?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

NHK World, Dec 9, 2015: Radiation spikes in Fukushima underground ducts — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says levels of radioactivity in underground tunnels have sharply risen. Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected 482,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive cesium in water samples taken from the tunnels on December 3rd. That’s 4000 times higher than data taken in December last year. The samples also contained 500,000 becquerels of a beta-ray-emitting substance, up 4,100 times from the same period… They plan to investigate what caused the spike in radiation.

Rossiya Segodnya (Russian gov’t news agency) – Sputnik: Red Alert! Radiation Spike Registered Under Fukushima Nuclear Plant — A sharp increase in radiation levels was detected in one of the underground tunnels at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to media reports. According to a press release issued by TEPCO, Fukushima plant’s operator, the water samples retrieved from the tunnels on December 3rd contained 482,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive cesium and about 500,000 of beta-ray-emitting substance becquerels per liter of a beta-ray-emitting substance, which is about 4,000-4,100 times higher compared to the samples taken a year ago, Japanese NHK TV channel reports.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (translated by Google), Dec 9, 2015: About the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, we will inform you as follows… As part of the accumulated water survey in the trench duct that is connected to each building, it is a confirmation of the radioactivity concentration of appropriate standing water, but the waste treatment building between the contact duct taken on December 3 analytical results of stagnant water is, ensure that it is following values.

Cesium-134: 9.2 × 10^4 Bq/L [92,000 Bq/L]
Cesium-137: 3.9 × 10^5 Bq/L [390,000 Bq/L]
All beta: 5.0 × 10^5 Bq/L [500,000 Bq/L]
Tritium: 6.7 × 10^3 Bq/L [6,700 Bq/L]
Reference (December 11… 2014):

Cesium-134: 2.7 × 10^1 Bq/L [27 Bq/L]
Cesium-137: 9.4 × 10^1 Bq/L [94 Bq/L]
All beta: 1.2 × 10^2 Bq/L [120 Bq/L]
Tritium: 3.1 × 10^2 Bq/L [310 Bq/L]
According to TEPCO’s data, total cesium increased 3,984 times (~400,000%) and all beta-emitting radionuclides including strontium-90 increased 4,167 times (~420,000%).

The total concentration of radionuclides in the Dec. 3, 2015 sample is 988,700 Bq/L or 988,700,000 Bq/m^3.

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From ENENews: Former Japan Official: “Unstoppable contamination of Pacific Ocean… is seriously menacing US West Coast” — “Fukushima now undeniably a global security issue… can’t be brought under control by single state” —

Reuters: Contamination is spreading off U.S. shores — Radioactive cesium reaches 11 Bq/m3 at multiple locations (MAP) “Very significant” explosion at dam next to U.S. nuclear site — ‘Plasma’ created due to tremendous amount of heat — Same type of phenomenon as lightning — Nuclear site’s fire department responds to blast (VIDEO) http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/explosion-washington-state-dam-injures-multiple-employees-n441456 »

Former Japan Official: “Unstoppable contamination of Pacific Ocean… is seriously menacing US West Coast” — “Fukushima now undeniably a global security issue… can’t be brought under control by single state” — Experts: Wave of radiation will be 10 times more than entire world’s nuclear tests combined
http://enenews.com/former-japan-official-fukushimas-unstoppable-contamination-pacific-ocean-seriously-menacing-west-coast-disaster-be-brought-control-single-state-limitless-steam-coming-reactors-evokes-possibility
Published: December 2nd, 2015 at 7:05 am ET
By ENENews

Mitsuhei Murata, former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, Nov 1, 2015 (emphasis added):

The lack of the sense of crisis over Fukushima is in stark contrast to the gravity of the crisis. Fukushima is now undeniably a global security issue. The unstoppable contamination of the Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere with ionizing radiation from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear reactors is seriously menacing the West Coast of the United States. Japan should make utmost efforts to cope with the Fukushima crisis by retreating from the Tokyo Olympic Games that disseminate the false impression that Fukushima is under control.

Deteriorating situation in Fukushima — Japan is laboring under the consequences of the Accident never before experienced by humanity, including the simultaneous destruction and meltdown of three commercial nuclear reactors. Four and half years after the 3.11 disaster, it has been shown that a severe nuclear accident cannot be brought under control by a single state… It is questioned if Japan is in possession of the governability and the capacity needed to cope with the impending crisis. The melted cores of the reactors from Units 1, 2 and 3 remain inaccessible… If the molten nuclear fuel rods are exposed through cracks to the atmosphere due to a mega earthquake or the liquidization of soils on the site that could cause the collapse and breach of Fukushima’s spent fuel pools, Japan’s landmass would become uninhabitable to a large extent… The whole of Japan is threatened by the worsening situation emanating from the molten fuel rods, which continue to widely disseminate large amounts of dangerous radionuclides into the sea and atmosphere. Limitless steam observed evokes the possibility of re-criticality at the site. The undeniable necessity for international verification of the suspected re-criticality at the site should bring about the indispensable international cooperation to cope effectively with the Accident. The ongoing radioactive contamination of the sea with no prospect for a solution is dishonoring Japan, causing it to be criticized for harming the global environment. In spite of all this, attempts are shamefully being made to hide Fukushima…

World is menaced by the spreading contamination… The consequences of the radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the West Coast of the United States are drawing increased attention. Some experts now estimate that the wave of radiation from Fukushima will be 10-times bigger than all of the radiation from the entire world’s nuclear tests throughout history combined…

The Tokyo Olympic Games belittle the Fukushima crisis — It is undeniable that the Tokyo Olympic Games constitute serious impediments for coping with the consequences of the March 11 Disaster… My interview article was published in the magazine “Monthly Japan” (September 2015). It is entitled “An honorable retreat from the Tokyo Olympic Games” and is given a central place. Reactions are noteworthy and expanding… The Tokyo Olympic Games diverts attention from Fukushima and gives the false impression to the world that Fukushima no longer poses a threat. The advancement of the Tokyo Olympic Games comes at the expense of the funds needed to address the host of environmental disasters created by the destroyed Fukushima nuclear reactors… The future of the Olympic Games is at stake. It is as a believer in the spirit of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement that I am pleading for an honorable retreat, and this, in order for Japan to devote maximum efforts to controlling the Fukushima crisis.

From last month: Former Japan Ambassador: Uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions could be underway at Fukushima — “Troubling indications of recurring criticality” as Tellurium-132 detected over 100 miles from plant — ‘Recriticality’ discussed by Japan’s top nuclear official

Published: December 2nd, 2015 at 7:05 am ET
By ENENews

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ENENews: TV: ‘Scary’ mystery illness killing off animals “at such a rapid rate”

TV: ‘Scary’ mystery illness killing off animals “at such a rapid rate” on West Coast — Hundreds of marine mammals found dead in small area — Gov’t Expert: “Something is likely affecting the entire ecosystem… Something is hitting them harder and faster… Something else seems to be involved” (VIDEO)
Published: October 19th, 2015 at 7:11 am ET
By ENENews

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Oct 8, 2015 (emphasis added): More than 200 dead or sick sea otters have been reported on beaches in [Alaska’s] Kachemak Bay region in 2015… A team of experts… are working to understand what has caused the spike in sea otter deaths and potential significance to the population… [T]he cause of death for many of the sea otters remains unknown.

Anchorage Daily News, Oct 10, 2015: Researchers see spike in Kachemak Bay sea otter deaths… [A news release from gov’t agencies] said the recent deaths and sickness could significantly affect the population.

KTVA transcript, Oct. 8, 2015: Hundreds of sea otters have been found dead in the Katchemak Bay area near Homer this year. Veterinarians at the Alaska Sea Life Center are working with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to figure out what’s making the otters so sick… It’s an unsettling mystery, killing off some of Alaska’s favorite furry animals.

KTVA, Oct 8, 2015: Unusually high number of sea otter deaths reported in Kachemak Bay… experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working to figure out what’s killing off the otters at such a rapid rate. “More recently, animals have appeared otherwise healthy and seemed to have died very quickly,” said Dr. Carrie Goertz… “it’s scary to know there’s something out there in the wild that we may or may not be able to do anything about.”

Peninsula Clarion, Oct 10, 2015: Spike in otter deaths in Kachemak Bay… “They were pretty healthy-looking, other than they were dead” [said Marc Webber, U.S. Fish & Wildlife]… The otters are clearly unwell… nonresponsive and unable to move, [Dr. Carrie Goetz, SeaLife Center veterinarian] said. “There haven’t been any obvious causes of death,” Goetz said. “That’s been limiting our understanding of what’s going on.”… Reports of dead animals of multiple species have risen in the Kachemak Bay area in the last few months, including birds and barnacles… Increased numbers of dead whales had been spotted as well…

KBBI, Oct 13, 2015: [Webber said] when something is going wrong with them, something is likely affecting the entire ecosystem… [Dr. Goetz] says they’ve been tracking a streptococcus illness… But the otters that have died since August seem different. “[They] have died acutely… in the last couple of months,” Goertz said… [What Webber is] seeing seems different than what he’s seen in the past. “Something is hitting them harder and faster… something else seems to be involved,” Webber said.

AP, Oct 14, 2015: “We’re finding otters all over the Homer area”… [the] otters are turning with neurological conditions that cause them to twitch, said Webber… dying otters could be an indicator that something is wrong with the entire ecosystem, according to Webber. The Alaska Sea Life Center has been tracking a streptococcus illness… but what’s happened since August is something new, said veterinarian Cari Goertz…

USGS California Sea Otter Stranding Network 2014 Stranding Summary: The number of sea otter strandings in 2014 (386) was the highest on record, 18 above the 368 sea otters that stranded in 2012. There were 340 strandings in 2013… A stranded sea otter is one that washes ashore dead or alive… NOTE: Stranding numbers only account for sea otters that people find… possibly less than 50% of sea otters that die in the wild end up on the beach…

Watch KTVA’s broadcast here

Published: October 19th, 2015 at 7:11 am ET
By ENENews
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Washington Watch | March 2015
By Bruce Moyer

Long The disclosures by Edward Snowden about the size and scope of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, both in the United States and abroad, has prompted a flurry of Congressional proposals aimed at reframing the foreign intelligence- gathering process. While the thrust of these proposals is aimed at the intelligence-gathering process itself, several would also alter the operations of the federal court in Washington that provides judicial oversight of intelligence gathering and, in fact, authorized the con- troversial NSA telephone metadata collection effort disclosed by Snowden.

The court we’re talking about is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC. Described by CNN as “the most power- ful court you have never heard of,” the panel plays a significant role in the sensitive balance of foreign intelligence-gathering and civil liberties. Established in 1978 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the FISC hears applications from the government and decides whether to issue orders approving certain electronic surveil- lance activities for foreign intelligence purposes. Another Article III tribunal co-located in Washington, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR), reviews the rulings of the FISA court. Collectively these are referred to as the FISA courts.

Unique Among Federal Courts
The FISC is unique among federal courts in its narrow jurisdiction, the selection of its judges, and the secret conduct of its day-to-day operations. The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court plays an especially engaged role in the affairs of the court. The FISC’s 11 district court judges and review court’s judges are “designated” by the Chief Justice, foregoing the usual process of presidential appoint- ment and Senate confirmation. Similarly, the Chief Justice designates the chief judge of the FISC and the FISCR. The judges of both courts serve one term of seven years and are not eligible for a second term. Because of the sensitive nature of its docket, the FISC and the Review Court operate largely in secret and in a nonadversarial fash- ion. Since its creation in 1978, the FISC has operated primarily in an ex parte manner with the government as the only party presenting arguments to the court and seeking warrants approving of electronic surveillance, physical searches, the use of a pen register or a trap- and-trace device, or the access to business ecords for foreign intelligence and international terrorism investigations.

The FISC operates out of a secure location in the federal court- house in Washington, D.C. Each week, one of the eleven district court judges that comprise the FISC is on duty in Washington. Most of the FISC’s work is handled by the duty judge with the assistance of a small group of attorneys and clerk’s office personnel who staff the court. On occasion, judges outside of the duty-week rotation handle more complex or time-consuming matters, at the direction of the Presiding Judge.

The secret and nonadversarial nature of the FISC’s proceedings and the revelation of the court’s approval of the NSA telephone meta- data collection effort have spurred several Congressional proposals that would change some of the underlying practices of the FISA courts. The most controversial proposal involves the court’s appoint- ment of a special advocate when the court is considering a novel or significant interpretation of law. Other proposals would establish en banc panels of the FISC and would alter the voting rules of the FISC in an attempt to create a higher bar for the approval of government surveillance activities.

A Special Advocate Before the FISA Courts?
The appointment of a special advocate within the FISA courts has stirred the greatest controversy. The House last year passed legislation (H.R. 3361) giving the FISA courts substantial discretion to determine when to appoint an advocate, as well as decide the nature and scope of the assistance to be provided by the advocate. A broader Senate measure (S. 2685) last year would have more rigidly mandated the appointment of an advocate to make specific argu- ments involving privacy and civil liberties. The Senate bill stalled at the end of 2014, carrying the debate into 2015 with some urgency. Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes electronic foreign intelligence surveillance activities, expires on June 1.

Proponents of the appointment of a special advocate argue that the nature of a non-adversarial process prevents the FISA courts from hearing opposing viewpoints on difficult legal issues, especially ones involving privacy and civil liberty interests. The Federal Judiciary is not so sure. In a letter to Congress last year, Judge John Bates, then director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (and a for- mer FISC judge) embraced the House legislation’s approach, which imparts to the FISA court the discretionary authority to appoint an advocate, a power the court already inherently maintains. Bates criticized the Senate’s approach, which directs the FISC to appoint an advocate in certain kinds of cases. “… [W]e are concerned that insert- ing into FISA court proceedings an advocate with a statutory mandate to make specific arguments would raise substantial legal questions and impede the courts’ work without furthering the interests of privacy or civil liberties,” Bates wrote. Those questions involve separation of powers and judicial independence considerations.

FBA Panel Session on the FISA Courts
These concerns and the broader challenge of balancing national security, privacy, and civil liberties will be spotlighted at the FBA Mid-year Meeting on Saturday morning, March 28, in Arlington, Virginia, when an esteemed panel of judges, lawyers, and academics will debate the pros and cons of altering the FISA courts and their operations. Consult the FBA website for further details.

Bruce Moyer is government relations counsel for the FBA. © 2015 Bruce Moyer. All rights reserved.

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Saudi King Abdullah ibn Abdilazīz has died. U.S. State Department expected
to issue cautionary security statement to U.S. citizens in country.
Monitoring…

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