reboot the republic daily July 10, 2010

Don’t Kid Yourself, It’s a Police State

Posted: 10 Jul 2010 03:57 PM PDT

From The Libertarian News Examiner

According to a Free Keene report, well known libertarians Rich Paul and Capuzzo, along with a female named Jackie, were arrested while “traveling through the police state of Massachusetts” on June 30.

They were apparently charged with possessing cannabis and a firearm.

The report did not mention that any crime had been committed, only that the trio had some plant material and a tool.

They may also have been in possession of other comparable inanimate objects, such as a cotton shirt or a ballpoint pen, but no other information is currently available.

When fellow activists and Cop Block bloggers Adam Mueller and Pete Eyre traveled to Greenfield MA to bail them out they were arrested.

In a followup report on July 2 it was reported that Mueller was charged with resisting arrest (apparently for failure to eagerly reveal his name) and wiretapping (presumably the “legal” name for videotaping) while Eyre was loaded up with five charges, including VIN (vehicle identification number) removal, possession of a gun without a FID (Firearms Identification) card, and wiretapping (apparently a felony in the CommonWraith of Massachusetts).

Again, there was no mention of any crime having been committed, only that some peaceful individuals had done some peaceful things without harming, threatening, or cheating anyone.

Whoever says America is becoming a police state, or is heading toward a police state, or is in danger of turning into a police state, has set their tolerance bar for police states way too low.

The country is awash in brain dead soul dead vampire-like thugs devoid of conscious individual personhood. As sharks exist to eat, as junkyard dogs exist to kill, government owned and trained pit bulls variously called Police or Law Enforcement Officers or Cops exist, like Ring Wraiths, solely to obey their political masters.

In regard to their fellow citizens they have no concept of conscience or principles or humanity.

They exist solely to enforce “the law,” meaning any collection of words put on paper by the political kingpins, no matter how grotesquely misguided or immoral those “laws” may be.

When people who have harmed no one, threatened no one, defrauded no one, are routinely kidnapped by the state’s enforcement grunts and locked in cages, you are living in a police state.

Wake up and smell the starched uniforms.


Related posts:

  1. The Police and Protect the State…. Not You!
  2. Understanding the Mechanics of the Police State
  3. When is Government a Police State?

Video: Spying on the Home Front

Posted: 10 Jul 2010 11:39 AM PDT

From 2007

Former AT&T technician Mark Klein and internet expert Brian Reid describe an NSA listening room that Klein discovered while working at the company’s operations center. In “Spying on the Home Front” FRONTLINE talks to intelligence insiders and asks: Is the Bush administration’s domestic war on terrorism jeopardizing our civil liberties? Coming May 15 to PBS and online at In “Spying on the Home Front,” coming May. 15, 2007 at 9pm (check local listings) Reporter Hedrick Smith presents new material on how the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program works and examines clashing viewpoints on whether the President has violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and infringed on constitutional protections. In another dramatic story, the program shows how the FBI vacuumed up records on 250,000 ordinary Americans who chose Las Vegas as the destination for their Christmas-New Year’s holiday, and the subsequent revelation that the FBI has misused National Security Letters to gather information. Probing such projects as Total Information Awareness, and its little known successors, Smith discloses that even former government intelligence officials now worry that the combination of new security threats, advances in communications technologies, and radical interpretations of presidential authority may be threatening the privacy of Americans.

Watch below…


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“Psychological Operations” Are Now “Military Information Support Operations”

Posted: 10 Jul 2010 08:16 AM PDT

From Yahoo News

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Army has dropped the Vietnam-era name “psychological operations” for its branch in charge of trying to change minds behind enemy lines, acknowledging the term can sound ominous.

The Defense Department picked a more neutral moniker: “Military Information Support Operations,” or MISO.

U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw said Thursday the new name, adopted last month, more accurately reflects the unit’s job of producing leaflets, radio broadcasts and loudspeaker messages to influence enemy soldiers and civilians.

“One of the catalysts for the transition is foreign and domestic sensitivities to the term ‘psychological operations’ that often lead to a misunderstanding of the mission,” McGraw said.

Fort Bragg is home to the 4th Psychological Operations Group, the Army’s only active duty psychological operations unit. Psychological operations soldiers are trained at the post.

The name change is expected to extend to all military services, a senior defense official said in Washington. The official, who has direct knowledge of the change, spoke on condition of anonymity because not all services have announced how they will revamp or rename their psychological operations offices.

The change was driven from the top, by Pentagon policymakers working for Defense Secretary Robert Gates. It reflects unease with the Cold War echoes of the old terminology, and the implication that the work involved subterfuge.

The change, however, left some current practitioners of psychological operations cold. Gone is the cool factor, posters to online military blogs said. With a name like MISO, one wrote, you might as well join the supply command.

Alfred H. Paddock, Jr., a retired colonel who was Director for Psychological Operations in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1986 to 1988, said the term has always had some baggage and been difficult to explain.

“Somehow it gives a nefarious connotation, but I think that this baggage can be overcome,” said Paddock, who also served three combat tours with Special Forces in Laos and Vietnam.

He said the military was giving in to political correctness by changing the name.

Psychological operations have been cast as spooky in movies and books over the years portraying the soldiers as master manipulators. The 2009 movie “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” staring George Clooney, was about an army unit that trains psychic spies, based on Jon Ronson’s nonfiction account of the U.S. military’s hush-hush research into psychic warfare and espionage.

But the real mission is far more mundane. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, psychological operations units dropped leaflets urging Iraqis to surrender.

In Vietnam, a psychological operations effort called the Open Arms Program bombarded Viet Cong units with surrender appeals written by former members. The program got approximately 200,000 Viet Cong fighters to defect.

McGraw said the name change was approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Eric Olson, the Special Operations commander, in mid-June.

Many in the psychological operations community, including Paddock, dislike the new name.

“Military Information Support Operations, or MISO, is not something that rolls off the tip of your tongue,” Paddock said. “It makes it even more difficult for psychological operations personnel to explain what they do. That they still have the capability to employ programs and themes designed to influence the behavior of foreign target audiences.”


Associated Press writer Anne Gearan in Washington contributed to this report.


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Labor Dept. Estimates $7.1 Billion in Overpayments to Unemployed

Posted: 10 Jul 2010 06:28 AM PDT

From ABC News

While many Americans are feeling the pain of expired unemployment benefits, some have gotten a good chunk more than they were legally eligible for.

Preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Department of Labor find that, in 2009, states made more than $7.1 billion in overpayments in unemployment insurance, up from $4.2 billion the year before. The total amount of unemployment benefits paid in 2009 was $76.8 billion, compared to $41.6 billion in 2008.

Fraud accounted for $1.55 billion in estimated overpayments last year, while errors by state agencies were blamed for $2.27 billion, according to the Labor Department. The department’s final report will be released next month.

Some of the overpayments likely can be traced back to the overwhelming workloads facing state employment agencies during the recession, said George Wentworth, a policy analyst for the National Employment Law Project.

“You’ve got a system that’s been under siege like the unemployment insurance system has been for the last two years,” Wentworth said. “You’ve got a lot of new staff coming into the system, there’s been a lot of federal extensions [to unemployment insurance benefits] that have had to be programmed in and so on. There’s just been a lot of change that states have had to handle. … I just think the volume and the new staff have made the systems more susceptible to error.”

The newly-unemployed, meanwhile, have found themselves frustrated when trying to reach out to state officials for help in properly filling out their claims.

“In 2009, it was a fairly regularly event to see different states’ call centers basically reaching maximum capacity where people would not be able to get through for hours or days at a time,” Wentworth said.

The Unemployment Claims ‘Tsunami’

Heidi Myhre, of Hudson County, N.J., questions whether she could have avoided an overpayment dispute with the state if she had gotten help filling out her unemployment claim early on. When filing for unemployment insurance in 2007, she called the state several times for guidance, she said, and got nowhere.

Among Myhre’s questions: Where on her claim form she should disclose that she receives more than $100 a week in dividends from a family-owned elder care business?

Myhre ultimately decided not to list the payment as earnings because, at the time, she wasn’t working for the business. She would go on to receive six months’ worth of benefits totaling just under $14,000.

Earlier this year, the state demanded that Myhre to return all the money and also pay a $3,500 fine for fraud after state officials determined that the payments from her family business should have, in fact, been considered earnings. With the help of a lawyer, Myhre successfully appealed the state’s decision and reduced what she owed to $6,300.

She remains bitter about the experience.

“It was the most poorly managed debacle I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” she said.

Myhre’s lawyer, Jef Henninger, said that in the last six months, he’s seen a big uptick in calls from people who have made mistakes on their unemployment claims and now face payback demands from the state. Henninger expects the situation to grow worse before it gets better.

“With so many more people applying for unemployment, statistics tell you you’re going to get more incidents like this,” he said.

New Jersey labor officials said they could not comment on specific overpayment cases, but Labor Department Assistant Commissioner Ron Marino conceded that the recession did put a significant strain on his department. He had to pull employees from their regular roles — including work preventing overpayments — to handle new claims, he said.

“Our whole impetus for last couple of years has been ‘Pay benefits. Pay benefits. Pay benefits,’ because of the 90-foot tsunami that we got,” he said. “No state recognized the recession was going to be this severe and longstanding.”

In New Jersey, fraud alone stripped $25 million from the state unemployment insurance fund in 2009, according to a review by The Star Ledger newspaper. Non-fraud overpayments in the state totaled $59.9 million in 2009, up from $53.9 million in 2008, New Jersey state officials told

Thanks to the hiring of more part-time workers and the use of an online employment claim filing system, Marino said, he has been able to redirect staff back to their regular duties, including preventing and identifying overpayments.

Back at Work, Still Getting Unemployment?

Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Jane Oates testified before Congress in May that the top cause for overpayments was people returning to work and continuing to claim benefits.

Employment benefits experts note that such overpayments aren’t always the result of deception; sometimes it’s a matter of confusion. Technically, workers are no longer eligible for benefits on the first day they start at a new full-time job, but many believe they should continue to claim benefits until they actually receive their first paycheck.

“An individual goes to work and they report their earnings as soon as they get paid — so they’re overpaid [by the state] for a week or two,” said Marie Moss, the assistant administrator of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Moss said that such confusion proves to be the culprit in about half the cases in which Tennessee workers fail to report earnings.

Other overpayments are often the result of the unemployed errantly claiming that they were laid off instead of fired for cause — the latter of which typically disqualifies a person for benefits.

Such claims also don’t necessarily amount to fraud, Wentworth said.

“Most of these cases are about the employer and the claimant looking at the same set of facts from a different perspective,” he said.

Such overpayments are identified after employers successfully challenge their former employees’ claims.

Indiana Department of Labor spokesman Marc Lotter said the reversal of benefits decisions following employer challenges account for many of the overpayments in his state, where non-fraud overpayments totaled $34.3 million in 2009, up from $22.5 million the year before, according to state data.

“The federal law requires states to pay unemployment benefits from the moment you’re determined initially eligible. In many cases, after your initial eligibility is determined, a company will file an appeal and say, ‘No, that person wasn’t laid off. I fired them,’ ” Lotter said.

Until a hearing is held to determine whether the employer is correct, he said, “we are required by law to keep paying.”

Recovering Overpayments

After a state identifies an overpayment, officials like Tennessee’s Moss know not to expect payback immediately.

“It is more difficult to recoup funds from individuals who have been unemployed because they’re already digging out of a hole,” she said.

The department, which saw overpayments of $17 million in 2009, recovered $10.6 million that same year. Some of the recovered money stemmed from overpayments in previous years.

Moss said the state relies on repayment plans that allow claimants to repay what they owe over time. When necessary, she said, the state also can garnish wages.

In Indiana, state officials have the power to intercept state tax refunds to recoup overpayments and also can hire collections agencies, Lotter said.

Help may be on the way for states grappling with overpayments. Under federal law, when states recover overpayments, they must deposit the money back into their unemployment funds.

Legislation backed by the Obama administration would allow states to spend up to five percent of the recovered money to prevent, identify or recover future overpayments. It also would require states to issue penalties of at least 15 percent of the amount owed for fraud-related overpayments.

Oates told Congress in May that the extra money could be used by state labor departments to beef up personnel and technology.

“Because the program is now more important than ever, we must ensure that it is run as efficiently as possible,” she said.


Related posts:

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Video: New Medicare Chief Says He Opposes Free Markets and Supports Redistribution of Wealth

Posted: 09 Jul 2010 11:36 PM PDT

How many socialists, marxists, communists and maoists are now working in this administration?

From Canada Free Press

President Obama officially made Donald Berwick his recess appointment to be the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In a 2008 while speaking on the British health care system in the UK, Berwick said wealthy individuals must redistribute their wealth to those less fortunate for health care funding. Also during this speech, he told those in attendance that he opposes free markets.

“Any health care funding plan that is just equitable civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional.”


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