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Archive for the ‘DHS’ Category

In 2007, candidate Obama complained about wiretapping done by the Bush administration.

It would be funny if it weren’t so very serious.

We find ourselves 6 years later with an IRS that isn’t satisfied with all that they already know about some of us and who soon will have access to all our private medical records.  The police can collect our DNA at will.  The DHS insists it has legal access to our laptops and phones.  We are subject to humiliating searches by the TSA.  The Justice Department spies on the press.

And now the NSA and FBI are snooping through our phone records and every keystroke we make on our computers.

We’re told they need to do this to keep us safe.  They’re mining all this data, looking for patterns that will help them find terrorists before they can do their dirty work.

Oh for Heaven’s sake!  The Russians called us on the phone and said, “Hey, that guy in Boston is a bad one – you better watch him!”  We ended up with three dead and dozens of missing limbs.  But we’re supposed to tolerate another loss of privacy because our government plans to uncover some super-secret spy plan?

Is this Obama’s version of liberty and justice?  His version of restoring our privacy?  It sounded great when he said all that in 2007, when he wanted our votes.  But does today’s America look anything like the one he promised back then?

We all want to be safe.  We want to protect ourselves and those we love.  But what price are we willing to pay for it all?  We are watching abuse of power play out on the TV news each night now.  Too many of those in charge are taking advantage of the trust we put in them.

Last year when I was entertaining the idea of starting this blog, I hesitated, wondering if it was a good idea to put my politics and my views into such a public forum.  And after seeing what the IRS did to tea party groups, it’s clear my concerns were on a solid foundation.  And these are the same people who will be at the controls of my healthcare in the near future.  Will Liberty Trail be in play when I require some medical attention?

But now it seems that we are not even left with that choice.  By simply visiting here or other places on the World Wide Web, is each of us being categorized by our politics?  By our loyalty to one party or another?  A 2009 report from DHS said that “right-wing extremism” was on the rise and issued caution of such groups to law enforcement.  Well, what’s their definition of extremism?

We’re in shaky territory here.  And it’s time for Americans to decide what our nation will be in the future.  Will fear and simple indifference destroy the liberties our founders fought for and passed on to us?  Or will we defend what is ours, what so many have fought and died for, our freedom to speak our minds and live our lives unencumbered by a prying, overbearing government?

I’ve made my decision.  What will you do?

-Kathy

Extra reading:  WaPo data mining story

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Here’s a tip for our low-information voters.  Pay attention to the news late on Friday afternoons.  Politicians know that you are busy on the weekend and have better things to do than keep an eye on them.  So if they are in a position to control bad news about themselves, they will release such information late on a Friday, hoping that the worst of it will all blow over by the time you start catching up on Monday morning.

Such an event happened this past Friday as Rep. Joe Garcia (D-FL) dismissed his Chief of Staff, Jeffrey Garcia, who had been involved in a scheme illegally requesting thousands of absentee ballots for last year’s primary election.

At a news conference on Saturday, Rep. Garcia said he knew nothing of the plot to stuff the ballot box in his favor, calling it “ill-conceived.”  He said it was a “well-intentioned attempt to maximize voter turnout.”

Maximize voter turnout?

What voters?  Dead voters?  Convicted felons?  Voters who no longer live here?  Snowbirds who actually vote in another state and aren’t eligible to vote in Florida at all?  Illegals?

The Congressman added that the system is “prone to fraud.”

No kidding.  I have been saying for years that absentee ballots on demand and early voting are designed to facilitate voter fraud.  But what do I know?

At this time last year, during the 2012 campaign, the State of Florida was engaged in a legal back and forth with the Dept. of Homeland Security and the Dept. of Justice as Gov. Rick Scott tried to clean up our voter rolls.  We have a lot of people registered to vote who are not eligible to do so.  Scott wanted to use the database of the DHS, which states are legally entitled to do, but DHS refused access.

This forced Scott to use the less accurate database from the DMV.  Even so, they turned up thousands of questionable registrations and we were even told at one point that at least 50 people had been identified as having voted illegally in the past.

At the same time, around the country, states were being harassed by the DOJ for similar efforts and for passing laws requiring voters show identification in order to cast a vote.

They were accused of voter suppression for simply requiring people prove they were who they said they were.

FOX News reported on the story about Congressman Garcia and the illegally requested ballots and it has showed up on some the conservative blog sites.  Other than that it has remained a fairly local story.  I can’t help but wonder what other similar incidents have happened across the country that we never hear about.

If anyone is still working to clean up voter registration rolls in Florida or anywhere else, I haven’t heard of it.

The identities of those people found to have voted illegally in Florida were never revealed and no one seems to have any interest in any of this now.

I suppose it will all come up again next year as we get closer to the very important election in November.  But it seems to me that now is the time for it to be done, not just months before the election when progressives will claim it’s a political move by conservatives who want to deny some people their right to vote.

I’m tired of being told that there is no such thing as voter fraud.  We’ve seen report after report proving it does exist and it is only by political motivation that one can deny it.  My one vote is one of my most basic rights.  When others cast more than one vote, or cast a vote illegally, they steal my vote from me.

And from you.

So beware of anyone who tells you it just doesn’t happen, or who stands in the way of fixing the problem.  They are plotting to steal your vote from you.

-Kathy

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The federal government has been taking a tremendous amount of heat lately, much of it based on how badly they have treated people associated with the tea parties.  One might think that they would be very, very careful about how they treat such citizens at a time when they are under such scrutiny.

But one would be wrong.

It seems that the arrogance of our current administration doesn’t have boundaries.  This video is from a tea party protest in St. Louis last Tuesday outside the local IRS office.  It’s a bit long.  You don’t need to view the entire video, but I wanted you to see the people doing the protesting and those watching them.

Do those protesters look dangerous to you?  I see men in business suits, grandmas with walkers and pretty average, unthreatening folks.  But note who is watching over them – Department of Homeland Security’s federal police force.

It’s been reported that these police officers from DHS were at similar protests all around the country, many of them in plain clothes, moving through the crowds.

The DHS was presented to us 11 years ago as a means to consolidate intelligence gathering and protect our airports and our borders.  But look how this massive agency has grown and morphed.

Now they send these guys to watch over American grandmothers with walkers.

DHSPolice

While at our airports they send these guys

TSACrotchPerv

to watch for this guy.

BritTerroristThe TSA has grown so fast that many of those “agents” at our airports haven’t yet even been screened by the FBI.  We have no idea how many felons and convicted sex offenders are sexually molesting our grandkids at our airports under the cover of national security.  These “agents” have minimal training and those badges they wear are unearned.

Meanwhile, the actual trained law enforcement force they do have is sent out to intimidate American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights.

There’s something very, very wrong with this picture.  This is not the America of our Founders.

What more do people need to see in order to understand what’s going on?

-Kathy

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Before Obamacare became the law of the land, one of the many things we warned about in the bill was the amount of power it gave to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.  As passed, Obamacare was 2,700 pages and in those pages the HHS Secretary is mentioned more than 2,500 times.

From American Spectator:

“…there are more than 700 instances in which the Secretary is instructed that she “shall” do something, and more than 200 cases in which she “may” take some form of regulatory action if she chooses. On 139 occasions, the law mentions decisions that the “Secretary determines.”

At the time the bill became law, we thought 2,700 pages was outrageous.  But since its passage, all those open-ended mentions of “the secretary” determining the details and applying regulations have added up.  The bill has grown to over 20,000 pages.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell printed it out, tied it up with red tape and snapped this picture.

Obamacare7foot

It’s over 7 feet tall.  And Sebelius isn’t done yet.

I dare you to find one member of Congress who voted for this law who read the initial 2,700 pages.  And by the time it’s done, it will easily contain more than 10 times those original pages – filled with regulations that no elected representative ever read  or voted for.  This is all at the whim of a political appointee for whom none of us has ever cast a vote.

And since this will dictate how healthcare is regulated and delivered, all our lives depend on it.

I can’t figure out why more people aren’t scared to death by all this.

Yesterday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) submitted a letter from ICE to the judiciary committee regarding the immigration bill currently being debated in the Senate.

From CNS News:

“The letter To Congress from the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council of the American Federation of Government Employees Affiliated with AFL-CIO warns of the discretionary power the bill gives to “political appointees” and takes away from law enforcers:

 “Congress can and must take decisive steps to limit the discretion of political appointees and empower ICE and CBP to perform their respective missions and enforce the laws enacted by Congress. Rather than limiting the power of those political appointees within DHS, S. 744 provides them with nearly unlimited discretion, which will serve only to further cripple the law enforcement missions of these agencies.”

 They warn that the Senate immigration bill gives DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano “virtually unlimited discretion to waiver” prohibitions on obtaining legal status, such as criminal activity or previous deportation:

 “This same section (Section 2101 of S. 744) gives the Secretary of Homeland Security virtually unlimited discretion to waive any manner of crimes that would otherwise make an individual ineligible for legal status––for such expansive reasons as family unity, humanitarian purposes, or what the Secretary believes is in the public interest.”

 “At least two of these standards appear undefined by S. 744 or current law, providing political appointees with broad authority to establish their own definitions of these terms and pardon criminal acts under almost any circumstance.”

 “The bill states that individuals who have previously been deported or otherwise removed from the country are ineligible to apply for legal status. However, the Secretary is given the ‘sole and unreviewable discretion’ to waive that ineligibility for large classes of qualifying aliens.”

 The letter concludes that ICE officers would continue to be “powerless” to protect the public and do their jobs if the bill becomes law:

 “If this legislation were enacted tomorrow, ICE officers would continue to be powerless to effectively enforce our nation’s laws and provide for public safety as S. 744 does nothing to end these dangerous agency- and department-level directives.”

We are being told that this immigration bill is the toughest ever on border security, that’s it’s not amnesty and illegals won’t get a free ride, won’t get government bennies, and won’t be able to become citizens for more than a decade.

No exceptions!

Well, except for the ones that have been left to the discretion of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, another political appointee that none of us has voted for.  Napolitano rules over a massive bureaucracy that has failed over and over.  She’s an ideologue and regularly shows that her personal politics get in the way of doing her job.

And our elected leaders are getting ready to give her the kind of power over our national security that they gave to Kathleeen Sebelius over our healthcare.

And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why more people aren’t scared to death by all this.

-Kathy

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After the attacks of 9/11/01 we learned that our intelligence agencies were not talking to each other.  The now famous “wall” that prevented them from sharing information was exposed.  It was suggested that had they been sharing their intelligence, we would have “connected the dots” and the outcome that day may have been different.

In response, we set up the Department of Homeland Security.  This new Cabinet department was to protect us and to be a kind of clearing house.  Agencies would report the information they gathered and combined with the work of other agencies, we would be better able to detect and foil plots against America.

The dots would now be connected.

As information about the terrorist attack in Boston drips out, we’re learning that things haven’t gone as promised.  We now know that the Russians warned both our FBI and CIA that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a dangerous guy and we should keep an eye on him.

The FBI says they investigated Tamerlan, found nothing suspicious and closed their investigation.  He was not an American citizen, but they claim it was against the law to watch him any longer.  A couple of months later Tamerlan took a six-month “vacation” to beautiful Dagestan.

Dagestan

Mmm, the next time I have a six-month vacation that’s where I’m headed.  Keep the Margheritas coming.

Dagaestan is a hotbed of Muslim extremism.  One would think that if this man who had already been under suspicion returned to the US after such a visit, that someone would notice.  But the FBI said last week that they were unaware of his return as his name had been misspelled on this paperwork.

He’s not even a US citizen.  How does he get back in the country with paperwork that is misspelled?

It gets worse.  A couple of days later, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano says we did know he had travelled to Dagestan.  She said we got a “ping” upon his return.  It turns out a customs agent noticed him, but who this information was shared with is a mystery as I write this.  Clearly, it was not the FBI.

The FBI also claims to have been left in the dark with regard to Tamerlan’s little brother and fellow terrorist, Dzhokhar.  Dzhokhar is in custody and the FBI had been questioning him prior to Miranda under the Public Safety Exemption.  They say he was singing like a canary.

But 16 hours into the 48 hours of questioning allowable under the law, a judge and a US attorney showed up at the hospital to read Dzhokhar his rights.

The FBI claims they were surprised and weren’t finished with their questions.  The DOJ says they told the FBI that they were coming.

And throughout it all, Boston’s Regional Intelligence Center says no one ever told them anything at all.

These are just a few of the things we’ve learned (and that I can recall off the top of my head.)  Who knows what else has gone wrong that we haven’t yet heard about, and may never hear about.

But one thing seems clear.  Could we all now please agree that the DHS is a massive failure?

We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on an agency with hundreds of thousands of employees and what have we got to show for it?

While high school dropouts with felony records and TSA badges are assaulting little boys and grandmas at our airports, terrorists are living in our cites and planning their attacks in the kitchens of their Section 8 houses.

The only dots being connected are ones that show Americans who thought they were getting security have been throwing their tax dollars down a federal toilet for a secretive agency that deprives law-abiding citizens of their constitutional rights while Islamic jihadists on the government teat plot right under their noses to kill Americans and blow their legs off.

-Kathy

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From the Boston Herald:

The (Deval) Patrick administration clamped down the lid yesterday on Herald requests for details of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s government benefits, citing the dead terror mastermind’s right to privacy.

Across the board, state agencies flatly refused to provide information about the taxpayer-funded lifestyle for the 26-year-old man and his brother and accused accomplice Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.

On EBT card status or spending, state welfare spokesman Alec Loftus would only say Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and 3-year-old daughter received benefits that ended in 2012. He declined further comment.

On unemployment compensation, labor department spokesman Kevin Franck refused to say whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev ever collected, saying it was “confidential and not a matter of public record.”

On Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college aid, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth spokesman Robert Connolly said, “It is our position — and I believe the accepted position in higher education — that student records including academic records and financial records (including financial aid) cannot under federal law be released without a student’s consent.”

On cellphones, the Federal Communications Commission would not say whether either brother had a government-paid cellphone, also citing privacy laws.

On housing, Cambridge officials and the family’s landlord ducked questions on whether the brothers were ever on Section 8 assistance.

The Herald reported yesterday that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, his wife and 3-year-old daughter collected welfare until 2012 and that both Tamerlan and Dzhokhar received benefits through their parents “for a limited portion” of the time after they came to the U.S., which was around 2002.

However, the Department of Transitional Assistance wouldn’t release information about how long or how much they received.

It remains unclear how the accused bomber brothers financed their heartless attacks on the marathon.

The administration was slammed by a Democratic congressman who insisted the public has a right to know how taxpayers were underwriting the accused jihadist Tsarnaevs.

“It’s certainly relevant information that should be made public,” U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch told the Herald. “There’s a national security interest No. 1. Secondly, there’s also a public interest in finding out whether these individuals were able to exploit the system and get benefits they weren’t entitled to.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lies hospitalized and facing capital charges that include using a weapon of mass destruction that killed three people and injured 260 near the Boston Marathon finish line.

Taxpayers — already on the hook for Tsarnaev’s court-appointed attorneys in the terror plot — continue to pay his mounting medical bills at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The public also paid for Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s attorney when the Russian national successfully fought criminal charges in 2009 that he battered a former girlfriend.

There was a time when newcomers to America were required to demonstrate the ability to support themselves before we let them in.

Now they can preach against us, hurl bombs, kill and maim our citizens and police, all while living off our generosity.

And we are asked to respect their “rights.”

-Kathy

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We all get pretty annoyed when we hear about abuses to our welfare system.  We’re compassionate and benevolent and we know some people just need some help sometimes.  But we also know there are far too many people taking advantage of the system, and of us.

Well try this – the Boston terrorists were welfare recipients.

From The Boston Herald:

“Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned.

 State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits. Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney has claimed Katherine — who had converted to Islam — was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home.

 In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused brother bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state.”

Full article here.

Gee, I wonder if they used Obamaphones to detonate their bombs.

I’m tired.  I’m tired of hearing that angry, old, white males are the problem in America.  It’s angry, old, white males who contributed the most in taxes to support all this.  No wonder they’re angry.  I’m angry too.

Today, when you see the news that law-abiding, hard-working, tax-paying, peaceful American citizens are waiting in line for hours at our airports because our elected leaders have cut air traffic controllers because we can’t afford them, think of this.

When you hear our elected leaders talking about their latest bill to “fix our immigration problem” and bring another 20 million into the fold, think of this.  Ask yourself how they are going to monitor the movement and intentions of all those people when they missed these guys even after the Russians called us and warned us!  Think of how many of those 20 million will run straight to the welfare office.  I know, they told us they won’t be eligible for benefits.  Right.

The next time some pompous politician yells at those honest, hard-working, law-abiding American citizens that they, “don’t need 10 bullets to kill a deer!”  think of this.  Those Americans just might need far more than 10 bullets to protect themselves from jihadists living down the street – in a house supported by their tax dollars.

Our entire system is badly broken and this episode shines a bright light on how deep it goes.  People paid with their lives and their limbs.

And what does our government do in the face of all this and more?  Disarm Americans, welcome in known law-breakers by the millions and demand we give them more tax dollars.

For what?  To fund the next terrorist?

It’s high time we stopped worrying about political correctness, diversity and what passes for compassion these days, and started doing what’s good for honest, hard-working American citizens.

We’re pretty tired of being used as the world’s doormat.

-Kathy

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