Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Could Chicago's Rahm Emanuel lose his re-election race?

CHICAGO — Rahm Emanuel has everything a winning mayoral candidate would seem to need: name recognition, a campaign war chest nearing $10 million and famous friends in Hollywood and the White House who are more than willing to slide into town at a moment’s notice.

Yet polling has consistently shown that the former Obama administration chief of staff has one significant deficit in his campaign for re-election next February: The majority of voters in his city do not like him.

Over the last 12 months, Emanuel’s approval ratings have been on a downward spiral. A Chicago Tribune pollreleased in August, for example, shows that 35 percent of likely voters approve of the job he has been doing, down from 50 percent about a year ago. The results are similar regardless of voters’ race, income, age or gender. A Chicago Sun-Times poll from May shows similar dissatisfaction: Only 18 percent of those surveyed said Emanuel was doing a better job than previous mayor Richard M. Daley.

The polling results reflect a growing tension over leadership in Chicago. To many, Emanuel represents a problem. In 2012, the first full year of his term, the city’s homicide count surpassed 500. And, many say, his decision to shut nearly 50 public schools — the largest mass school closing in U.S. history — and to strike development deals downtown instead of in lower-income neighborhoods has deepened the city’s economic divide...


Saturday, September 27, 2014

WTC7 9/11 Footage, NIST shenanigans

Jihadist threat not as big as you think

(CNN) -- Most Americans had never heard of the Khorasan group until this week, when President Barack Obama announced that U.S. airstrikes in Syria had targeted the "seasoned al-Qaeda operatives." U.S. officials said that the Khorasan group was actively plotting to conduct an attack in the United States or Europe.

"We can't say that we definitely disrupted their plots" against the West with the U.S. airstrikes, a senior Obama administration official told one of us, but "there is a decent chance we have" because "their communications are interrupted" and members of the group were killed in the strikes.

The sudden public emergence of the Khorasan group as a threat underlines the fact that the global jihadist movement, which at the time of the 9/11 attacks was largely concentrated in Afghanistan, has morphed and metastasized a great deal since then...

...The only reasonable conclusion to draw is that the threat posed by jihadist organizations around the globe is quite inconsequential when compared with what the West faced in the past century.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Wiki: Parallel Construction

Parallel construction is a law enforcement process of building a parallel - or separate - evidentiary basis for a criminal investigation in order to conceal how the investigation began. [1]
Parallel construction in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration[edit]

In August 2013, a report by Reuters revealed that the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration advises DEA agents to practice parallel construction when creating criminal cases against Americans that are actually based on NSA warrantless surveillance.[1] The use of illegally-obtained evidence is generally inadmissible under the Fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine.[2]

Two senior DEA officials explained that the reason parallel construction is used is to protect sources (such as undercover agents or informants) or methods in an investigation. One DEA official had told Reuters: "Parallel construction is a law enforcement technique we use every day. It's decades old, a bedrock concept."

An example from one official about how parallel construction tips work is being told by Special Operations Division that: "Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle." The tip would allow the DEA to alert state troopers and search a certain vehicle with drug-search dogs. Parallel construction allows the prosecution building the drug case to hide the source of where the information came from to protect confidential informants or undercover agents who may be involved with the illegal drug operation from endangering their lives.

A number of former federal agents had used parallel construction during their careers according to Reuters interviews. Most of the former agents had defended the practice of parallel construction because no falsified evidence or illegally-obtained material were presented in courts. A judge can rule evidentiary material inadmissible if it is suspected that the evidence was obtained illegally...



If you’re an Australian citizen, you have a greater chance of being killed by the following causes than you do by a terrorist attack: slipping in the bathtub and hitting your head; contracting a lethal intestinal illness from the next dinner you eat at a restaurant; being struck by lightning. In the post-9/11 era, there has been no terrorist attack carried out on Australian soil: not one. The attack which most affected Australians was the 2002 bombing of a nightclub in Bali which killed 88 of its citizens; that was 12 years ago.

Despite all that, Australia’s political class is in the midst of an increasingly unhinged fear-mongering orgy over terrorism. The campaign has two prongs: ISIS (needless to say: it’s now an all-purpose, global source of fear-manufacturing), and the weekend arrest of 15 people on charges that they planned to behead an unknown, random individual based on exhortations from an Australian member of ISIS.

The Australian government wasted no time at all exploiting this event to demand “broad new security powers to combat what it says is a rising threat from militant Islamists.” Even by the warped standards of the west’s 9/11 era liberty abridgments, these powers are extreme, including making it “a crime for an Australian citizen to travel to any area overseas once the government has declared it off limits.” Already pending in that country is a proposal by the Attorney General to make it a criminal offense ”punishable by five years in jail for ‘any person who disclosed information relating to ‘special intelligence operations’”; the bill is clearly intended to outright criminalize WikiLeaks-and-Snowden-type reporting and the government thus expressly refuses to exempt journalists...