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Open thread for Easter Sunday: Hallelujah

April 20, 2014

  Here is the open thread for Sunday, April 13th; please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

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  Please check out what the New Federalist Party has been up to by clicking on the link to the right. On the NFP Facebook page you will find a link to the party platform. Check it out and if you like what you see we are currently looking for donations and delegates to the states for the convention.

  Well, it is Easter Sunday so I thought I would post a song somewhat relevant to the Holy Day. No doubt when you saw the title of today’s open thread you thought I would be posting Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ but you would be wrong. I instead give you a Nick Cave song with the same title.

  In this song Nick Cave sings about giving his nurse the weekend off. After making this decision he is unable to function so he decides to take a walk. While on this walk he comes to a house where “all hopes and dreams are kept within” and a young lady tempts him to enter the house. After considering the offer Nick Cave realizes his nurse was his one true salvation and would not approve so he heads home singing Hallelujah. I believe the nurse is a metaphor for God and the house represents temptation, in the end Nick Cave resists temptation and returns to his nurse–meaning he returns to God. 

  And a bonus audio track from Nick Cave this week to celebrate Easter, here is ‘There is a Kingdom.’

Just like a bird that sings up the sun
In a dawn so very dark
Such is my faith for you
Such is my faith
And all the world’s darkness can’t swallow up
A single spark
Such is my love for you
Such is my love

There is a kingdom
There is a king
And he lives without
And he lives within

The starry heavens above me
The moral law within
So the world appears
So the world appears
This day so sweet
It will never come again
So the world appears
Through this mist of tears

There is a kingdom
There is a king
And he lives without
And he lives within

  Happy Easter everybody!

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Nine Western states convene in an attempt to take back Federal land

April 19, 2014

 Here is a map of land owned by the Federal government:

federal land

  As you can clearly see, most of the Western land is actually owned by the Federal government and not by the states or the people. (Agenda 21, anybody?) 

  Therein lies the problem for while the Federal government has claimed this land in the interest of preserving it, this opens up the door for ulterior motives and nefarious dealings–as has come to light with the case of Cliven Bundy and Harry Reid. Let me state here that I am not defending Cliven Bundy for if he refused to pay mandatory fees he was asking for trouble, however the Federal government’s response was more than excessive and leads one to think there is more to this story than we are being told.

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Some Democrats upset as Barack Obama punts a decision on the Keystone Pipeline until after the 2014 election

April 19, 2014

  Back when the Keystone Pipeline was first in the news Barack Obama decided to delay a decision on this issue until after the 2012 election and he had the perfect cover to do so; he wanted to wait until an environmental impact study was completed before he made a decision.

  Naturally he wanted the report to state the pipeline would be devastating to the environment because that would make his decision an easy one, a decision that most people would not argue with.

Well, the report came back and it determined that the Keystone Pipeline would not significantly harm the environment, this of course was not the result Barack Obama wanted so what did he do? Nothing, he has been sitting on the report and yesterday he punted the issue indefinitely which means no decision will likely be coming before the 2014 election.

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Is the entire city of Boston under complete police video surveillance?

April 18, 2014

 That is the question I have after reading this story. When I first saw the headline I assumed that the entire city of Boston was temporarily under police surveillance for the upcoming marathon, and while that would be troubling enough, this article makes it sound as if Boston is under a permanent, complete, and constant police surveillance.

Following the Boston Marathon bombings almost one year ago, the Boston Police Department started looking toward more high-tech means of securing the city against future attacks. They found the solution in the form of an artificially intelligent, self-learning surveillance network that now watches the entire city, and all of its inhabitants.

The Texas-based Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc. (BRS Labs) headed by former Secret Service special agent John Frazzini has a reputation for developing advanced, AI-based surveillance platforms. The system the company built for Boston after the bombings is on the bleeding edge of such technology, and not only watches and analyzes human behavior, but learns from it to identify suspicious or abnormal activity.

It actually predict threats by itself, completely free of additional human programming, guidance or monitoring.

  Here is more:

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John Boehner is hellbent on passing immigration reform this year

April 18, 2014

 The business leaders have spoken and they want an immigration reform bill passed so we can count on John Boenher to bow down to his corporate masters and do everything in his power to give them what they want. He basically admitted this at a recent fundraiser:

Many lawmakers and activists have assumed the issue was off the table in an election year. But Mr. Boehner said at a Las Vegas fundraiser last month he was “hellbent on getting this done this year,” according to two people in the room.

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New study claims that white babies are racially biased

April 17, 2014

 A new study has been released by University of Washington that claims that white babies are racially biasedHere is more:

80 white 15-month-old babies watched as toys were distributed. This time half the babies watched as more toys were given to the Asian recipient; and the other half watched as more were given to a white recipient.

The babies were then let to choose a playmate and more times chose the white recipient.

“If all babies care about is fairness, then they would always pick the fair distributor, but we’re also seeing that they’re interested in consequences for their own group members,” Sommerville said.

Researchers say that these findings take race into account when babies choose a playmate.

“Babies are sensitive to how people of the same ethnicity as the infant, versus a different ethnicity, are treated – they weren’t just interested in who was being fair or unfair,” Monica Burns, co-author of the study and a former UW Psychology undergraduate student, and currently a psychology graduate student at Harvard University, said. “It’s interesting how infants integrate information before choosing who to interact with, they’re not just choosing based on a single dimension.”

  She was quick to point out that this does not mean these babies are racists because they did not exhibit any hostility toward the Asian babies, but note that this study did not test minority babies to see if they displayed the same characteristics. There seems to have been an agenda here, and since when did anyone think 15 year old babies had any concept of fairness in the first place?

Was Lois Lerner conspiring with the Department of Justice to prosecute conservative groups?

April 16, 2014

 Was Lois Lerner actually conspiring with Eric Holder to prosecute conservative groups? That is what is being suggested in this article now that new emails have surfaced which show that Lois Lerner was in contact with the Department of Injustice.

According to new IRS emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch, former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner was in contact with the Department of Justice in May 2013 about whether tax exempt groups could be criminally prosecuted for “lying” about political activity.

“I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS,” Lerner wrote in a May 8, 2013 email to former Nikole C. Flax, who was former-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller’s chief of staff.

Read more…


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